#FindYourEscape: Celebrate 333 years of winemaking with Constantia Wine Route

2018-05-30 13:30 - Kavitha Pillay
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Buitenverwachting vineyard in the Constantia wine route. (Photo: Supplied)

South Africa’s Western Cape is blessed with climate and landscapes that are not only ideal for various leisure activities, but also for producing some of the finest wines in the world.

While Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl are usually the go-to destinations for wine tastings – for local and international travellers alike – Cape Town is home to a prestigious wine region: Constantia Valley.

SEE: Groot Constantia: Championing winelands conservation for over three centuries

The Constantia Valley, which is celebrating 333 years of winemaking in 2018, is the oldest wine region not only in SA, but also in the Southern Hemisphere.

It consists of 9 wine farms which represent centuries-old heritage as well as modern boutique wineries, which all contribute to the region’s unique charm.

In addition to tasting some award-winning wines and treating your taste-buds to platters of cured meats, cheeses and breads among other delights, visitors to Constantia Valley can also take pleasure in hiking, cycling, ziplining and observing spectacular views in parts of the Valley. And to cater for everyone, Constantia Valley also hosts non-wine related offerings such as coffee roasting and other leisure activities.

Catch a glimpse of this tranquil Valley below:

What’s even more inviting is that Constantia Valley is only a stone’s throw away from Cape Town and Hout Bay, making it the perfect day-trip for locals, and a convenient inclusion on your travel itinerary if you are visiting from outside of Cape Town.

“We are positioned on Constantia Nek in the centre of the Cape Peninsula with the Constantia Valley and its vineyards rolling down in front of us,” says Gregory Louw, winemaker at Silvermist Vineyards. He adds that the Valley borders Table Mountain National Park and its massive biodiversity, allowing visitors to see some of the region’s endemic flora.

Modern Constantia

This year, together with its milestone birthday celebration, the Valley is taking a modern approach while maintaining its rich heritage and longstanding wines.

Jacques du Plessis, winemaker at Constantia Uitsig, says that modern innovation is necessary as without innovation “you can easily slip off the radar and become another historic site with little relevance in the present”.

“The new generation of wine drinker is seeking authenticity and feeling part of the winemaking process. Modern architecture at Uitsig, Steenberg and Klein Constantia allows people to feel close to the process. We are Cape Town’s Vineyard and we want Capetonians to also see it that way,” he adds.

ALSO SEE: #InnerCityWineRoute: Tuning the vine the right way this winter

As part of its modern revolution, the wineries have adopted a feature on the Constantia Wine Route website that gives viewers the opportunity to embark on a virtual tour of each winery.

Each tour shows viewers what can be enjoyed at each vineyard – from various dining experiences and wine safaris, to biking and other leisure activities.

Winemakers of Constantia Valley say that providing authentic experiences that allow visitors to connect with the winemaking process is important.

“The Constantia Wine Route places great value in its history and the legacy of producing world class wines and the responsibility of protecting this heritage. But we also have the parallel responsibility to continue to innovate and create exciting award-winning wines and experiences on our estates,” say the winemakers.

Click here for the full map of the Constantia Wine Route.

Click on the name of each vineyard below to start exploring its virtual tour and start planning your Constantia Valley Wine Route journey.

Silvermist Vineyards

Photo: Supplied by Constantia Wine Route.

Beau Constantia

Photo: Supplied by Constantia Wine Route.

Constantia Glen

Photo: Supplied by Constantia Wine Route.

Eagles’ Nest

Photo: Supplied by Constantia Wine Route.

Groot Constantia

Photo: Supplied by Constantia Wine Route.

Klein Constantia

Photo: Supplied by Constantia Wine Route.

Buitenverwachting

Photo: Supplied by Constantia Wine Route.

Constantia Uitsig

Photo: Supplied by Constantia Wine Route.

Steenberg

Photo: Supplied by Constantia Wine Route.