The story of Groot Constantia, the finest surviving example of Cape Dutch architecture and one of South Africa’s foremost historical monuments and tourist attractions, goes back to 1685.
Mother Nature smiled when she prepared the Constantia Valley for the winemaker. She bestowed on him the influence of the sun, wind, oceans and fertile soil, and then challenged him to plant vineyards and make excellent wines. To this the owners of Constantia have answered positively for more than three centuries, producing one of the world’s most famous sweet blends and today continuing this tradition, creating a range of quality wines.
The name Constantia is irrevocably linked to the most famous wines to be made in South Africa. Constantia wine was coveted across the globe. Limited volumes were made and it was so expensive that it was exclusively bought and consumed by the aristocracy of the world. Members of the British Royal House, Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis Philippe of France, Frederick II (The Great) of Prussia, the Lords Seventeen of the VOC, governors, admirals, captains and other dignitaries coveted the Constantia label and treated their special guests to it.
The heritage of Groot Constantia would be incomplete without regarding its setting. As important as the product of the vine is, so the beauty and significance of the priceless Manor House and the buildings grouped around it are unequalled examples of Cape Dutch architecture both in majesty and simplicity. The collection of artefacts, including furniture and art, reflects the rich cultural tradition of the Cape.