Constantia Wine Valley, Western Cape, South Africa
Early morning once again, my colleague Skeezo and I decided to go for a little bicycle scouting trip and some wine tasting in the very acclaimed Constantia wine valley after having to push aside the idea for quite some time. Emi unfortunately had to do some office work that day and couldn’t join us- she wasn’t very happy.
So after hours of consoling Em and drying her tears away, we took off on our bikes and left her in the tiny office behind her desk.
- Just kidding.
~ Groot Constantia ~
We started the day off with breakfast: a wine tasting with, my favorite part, a chocolate pairing at Groot Constantia wine estate. For those of you who have never tried a chocolate and wine pairing where each chocolate is specifically manufactured to compliment the wine, you’re missing out on a little piece of tangible paradise. The experience is something different, unique and heavenly for those 90% of you who love wine and chocolate like we do.
From there we set off towards Groot Constantia’s little sister: Klein Constantia wine estate, for yet another tasting.
Please allow me to interject and say that this day was work-related and we were simply obliged to experience the whole product before selling it, including all the wine tastings… (perks of being a tour guide)
Klein Constantia is situated in on a small hill, surrounded by mountains. The long winding road into the estate made for quite the breathtaking entrance on our bicycles. After a glass of cold water it was time again to indulge in some more wine. My favourite was no doubt their 2009 vintage dessert wine: Vin de Constance. Originally produced at the Groot Constantia wine farm during the 18th and 19th centuries, it was first called Constantia Wyn. It is made from a blend of mostly Muscat de Frontignan and has been a very big favorite to European kings and emperors, such as Frederick the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and King Louis Philippe de France. During the late 19th century however, South African wine production ceased as exportation to Europe first dried out and the vineyards were soon after ravaged by epidemics. Finally in 1986, production of the sweet Constantia wine resumed at Groot Constantia and is now called “Grand Constance”, at Klein Constantia it is named “Vin de Constance” and “1769” at Buitenverwachting. I really wanted to buy a bottle of the Vin de Constance, but it was obviously and unfortunately pretty pricey…
After this we had a nice downhill ride into the valley and eventually reached our lunch stop at Buitenverwachting wine estate. The estate is very appropriately named, and translated to English from Afrikaans, means “beyond expectations”. Lunch was definitely a wonderful experience from the menu to the service to the food. It was all around 5 stars.
Satisfied and ready to call it a day, we loaded our bikes and drove back to Emilie and the City Bowl.
Overall it was a good day and I would recommend visiting Constantia to anyone by bicycle as there’s no better way to visit a place than on the freedom of your two wheels. Be sure to have lunch at Buitenverwachting, it was awesome and won’t disappoint!