Of wines and wineries

If you are in the Western Cape region, you do not have any excuse for not being to at least one of the wine estates in the region. South Africa produces some of the best wines in the entire world and a wine estate tour along with wine testing is a must do if you are around Cape Town. South Africa’s romance with wine dates back to 1659 when Jan van Riebeeck produced the first bottle of wine. Well, there are laws and rules governing production, marketing and selling of wines but, we can concentration only on the consumption part of it!

While a complete Wine Tour of the Western Cape would be incomplete without a visit to Stellenbosch, Franschhooek, Worchester and Constantia combined, in the interest of time, just a trip to Constantia should leave you happy, but fo course wanting to more! We did not have much time for an extensive trip as we had only about half a day. And so Constantia being the closest to where we were during the first part of that part windy part rainy Saturday winter morning, we decided to cover the Groot Constantia, Constantia Glen and Steenberg estates. 

Constantia can boast of being the oldest wine-growing region in the country, with the Groot Constantia being the oldest wine estate in South Africa. In it’s 333rd year of producing signature wine, Groot Constantia welcomed us with open arms. At ZAR50 you can taste 5 wines as per your choice and what wine they are!!!! Choose from among the best from the elaborate and exquisite wine menu and titilate your senses.   

Our next stop was the Constantia Glen. Another beautiful estate with plush rolling vineyards all around. As pictureque as Groot Constantia, Glen offers a view of the Table Mountains Range close by, being closest to Cape Town. Constantia wine produces only 4 types of wines – Constantia Glen TWO, Constantia Glen THREE, Constantia Glen FIVE, and a special Sauvignon Blanc. You have to try all four with a cheese platter, as we did…and the rest is bliss!

We had our dinner at the Steenberg Farm and it was already dark by the time we reached there and so we couldn’t really look around. Not to forget, we were tired as hell and rather cold, thanks to the rains! Steenberg Farm offers a huge list of fine wines classified into the Sparkling Range, Fleet Range, Estate Range, Flagship Range, and Icon that has the Steenberg Vintage wine. 

To sum it all up, do not miss Gouverneurs Reserve White, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion, Blanc de Noir, Merlot, Pinotage, Shiraz and Grand Constance from Groot Constatia; Constantia Glen TWO and Constantia Glen Sauvignon from Constantia Glen; and Steenberg Chardonnay, Steenberg Ruby Rose, Steenberg Semillion and Steenberg Magna Carta from Steenberg Farm.

Just a word of advice following a rather funny but uncalled for incident – try not to step into a black shiny path while at the Steenberg Farm…it is possibly a beautifully maintained waterbody that might not exactly be a welcome thought on a cold and rainy night.

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