Cape Town 2011 Holiday – Day 4

Day 4 Started with a little lie in and then we went off to the Constania Valley for a day of wine tasting. Constantia Valley is one of the Cape Town Big 6 places to visit. We left pinelands and took the M3 but missed a turn off and almost ended up in Muizenburg. There are so many signs to Muizenburg but we never actually ended ever going to Muizenburg. We found our way onto the wine route via Steenburg Rd and the first farm we stopped at was Constania Uitsig, the wine shop and tasting venue was great. The staff were friendly and the lady behind the counter was full of quirkiness. We tasted thier range while she was having her first glass of wine for the day at 11am. We bought two bottles of wine and went on our way.

Tip for travellers to the Cape wine routes: Take a bottle of water and to drink while in the car as you don’t want to spit.

 

After Uitsig we raced along the route to get to Groot Constantia for the Cellar Tour and tasting. Groot Constantia is the oldest established wine estate in South Africa and was started by Simon van der Stel who was governor of the Cape. The Name Constantia is thought to be named after Commissioner Rijckloff van Goens’s daughter in recognition of his help and support in obtaining the farm land.  Another theory is that the farm was named after the VOC ship “Constantia” which, was anchored in Table Bay.

Commissioner Rijckloff van Goens, a former governor of Ceylon and Council Member of India, visited the Cape while recuperating from an illness. He recommended to the Chamber of Seventeen, the governing body of the VOC, that land should be granted to Simon Van der Stel. After a visit by High Commissioner Hendrik Adriaan van Rheede tot Drakenstein, Van der Stel received title to 891 morgen (about 763 hectares) on 13th July 1685.  The land stretched southwards to the neighbouring free burgher farms of Steenberg and Zwaanswyk and to the north it reached as far as the wooded area named The Hell.

The Wine from Constantia grew in status and in 1778 Hendrik Cloete bought the farm (he is a twig on Laurens Family tree), the farm was in the Cloete family for over 100 years until disease ravaged the winelands and the farm was sold to the government.

 

 

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