Lifestyle 24.7.2018 09:13 am

See a 160-year-old SA wine uncovered in France

Groot Constantia, the finest surviving example of Cape Dutch architecture, and one of South Africa’s foremost historical monuments tourist attractions, dates back to 1685. 
Groot Constantia has been producing wine for more than three centuries. The vineyards are tucked in a steep valley on the eastern side of Table Mountain. The name Constantia is irrevocably linked to the most famous wines to be made in South Africa.

Groot Constantia, the finest surviving example of Cape Dutch architecture, and one of South Africa’s foremost historical monuments tourist attractions, dates back to 1685. Groot Constantia has been producing wine for more than three centuries. The vineyards are tucked in a steep valley on the eastern side of Table Mountain. The name Constantia is irrevocably linked to the most famous wines to be made in South Africa.

Visit Groot Constantia and see a little a valuable piece of South African wine-making history.

This year Groot Constantia celebrated its 333rd birthday. A big year indeed for the oldest South African wine estate.

But to prove just how ageless it is an extremely rare bottle of Groot Constantia’s Pontac red wine, which is at least 160 years old, has returned to its place of origin at the Groot Constantia wine estate where it now sits in the Cloete Cellar – the very place in which it was produced years ago.

This historic bottle of Pontac Constantia wine, which was discovered in a small village in France called Doullens, was produced on the estate during the tenure of Jacob Pieter Cloete who purchase the farm from his mother in 1824.

In 1855 the Groot Constantia Pontac wines – part of a collection showcasing “The best produce and goods from the Cape” received acclaim at the International Exhibition in Paris, where 53 nations and 22 colonies took part in the exhibition (it was opened by Napoleon III, and attracted 5 162 330 attendees (including Queen Elizabeth).

Visitors to Groot Constantia will be able to view the bottle of Pontac Constantia in the Cloete Cellar museum where it enjoys a place of esteem alongside a 195 year old bottle of Grand Constance – Groot Constantia’s signature sweet wine.

Groot Constantia celebrated the return and unveiling of this grand old Pontac Constantia bottle as part of the estates recent 333rd birthday celebrations which took place on this month.

“We are very excited to have this rare bottle of wine, with its fascinating history and accolades, return to the four walls in which it was made,” says Jean Naudé, CEO of Groot Constantia.

“Les vins de lique de Constance” won a silver medal and was declared leader in its class. An accolade that is proudly showcased on the label of the old Pontac Constantia bottle that has returned to its birth place.

“I am confident that the sense of history that visitors will feel whilst standing in a room that produced these very same bottles all those years ago will not fail to impress and will indeed serve to inspire,” says Naudé.

Groot Constantia regularly features as a Big 7 attraction in Cape Town and is part of the terrific Constantia-Steenberg wine route. The route features Groot Constantia, which offers a sense of nobility when visiting, as it should – Napoleon himself liked a sip of the famed Grand Constance wine.

The Estate has a large preserved building as a museum that houses artifacts and treasures of its time. Wine and chocolate pairings are offered here, along with cellar tours, but make time to take a stroll on the grounds with the baboons frolicking in the distance.

Further afield, there’s the Green Belt, a lush, verdant walking spot enjoyed by families with their dogs, horses and riders and runners. It gives the impression of being deep in the countryside, and yet it’s just a few minutes away from Constantia Village. It’s a popular suburb for people who enjoy an active lifestyle, from running to mountain biking.

 

 

 

 

 

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