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Groot Constantia celebrates 337 years of wine production

Part of the Groot Constantia wine-making team, from left to right, Hansie Warries (cellar foreman), Floricius Beukes (estate manager and viticulturist), Boela Gerber (winemaker) and Daniel Thana (team manager).

Part of the Groot Constantia wine-making team, from left to right, Hansie Warries (cellar foreman), Floricius Beukes (estate manager and viticulturist), Boela Gerber (winemaker) and Daniel Thana (team manager).

Published Jun 29, 2022

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On 13 July Cape Town’s Groot Constantia Estate celebrates its 337th birthday, making it the oldest wine-producing farm in South Africa, and its much-lauded flagship wine, Grand Constance, recently received the National Wine Challenge Special Award for Wine Consistency and the Grand Cru ‘Best in Class’ Award.

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Hundreds of years ago, the wine produced at Groot Constantia began to receive international acclaim for its superior quality, and emperors and kings – such as Frederick the Great of Prussia, Napoleon and Louis Philippe (King of the French) – were all known to be great lovers of Groot Constantia wines (translated Grand Constance into the French) which also means“consistency”.

“The iconic Grand Constance wine that we produce at Groot Constantia is in effect the essence of the Estate. We are immensely proud of our Grand Constance, and humbled to be able to continue to produce this wine, and for it to consistently bring home awards. It is a 300-year-old legacy that we are custodians of” says Groot Constantia winemaker, Boela Gerber.

160 years ago, JP Cloete (the then owner of Groot Constantia), produced one of the earliest known tourist attraction adverts in South Africa, marketing Groot Constantia and giving detailed directions to the Estate – making it the first-ever wine route map in SA, and today Groot Constantia is a member of the Cape Town Big 6 tourist attractions.

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Groot Constantia has been welcoming visitors to the Estate for more than 300 years and has a long track record as a must-visit location in the Cape.

For the modern-day visitor – be it wine lovers, fun-seeking families, tourists, social explorers, or anyone looking for a memorable Groot Constantia offers a wonderful day out.

The Estate offers a Visitors Route Experience that allows you to walk back in time by following a specially designed circular route that takes visitors to the historical key attractions at Groot Constantia.

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The original Manor House at Groot Constantia (which is an Iziko Museum) is the starting point for the Visitors Route Experience. After this, guests make their way to the famed Cloete Cellar, which is the original wine production cellar from 1791. This historic cellar was where the famous Grand Constance wine was first produced, and now the cellar houses a museum and unique tasting room.

Old carriages, winemaking memorabilia and a collection of old Grand Constance bottles sourced from all over the world are among the things to see in the Cloete Cellar Museum. After exploring the modern production cellar for a tour and wine tasting, visitors are then welcome to venture into the vineyards for the self-guided audio Vineyard Tour.

Groot Constantia has two top restaurants, Jonkershuis and Simon’s. Both have children’s menus and outdoor dining options. There is also free Wi-Fi at Groot Constantia, which covers all of the buildings – allowing guests the opportunity to share their experiences in real-time with friends and family across the world.

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The Estate is inviting all wine lovers and casual visitors to come and enjoy the 337-year-old Groot Constantia celebratory experience.

For more information visit www.grootconstantia.co.za or connect with Groot Constantia via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @GrootConstantia.

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