Winemaking Wonder – Beau Constantia
It should be on every Capetonian’s list, that at some point, they pay a visit to the beauty that is today’s Constantia. People have always told me how lucky I was to live in Cape Town, how beautiful it is, and that they only wish they could live here. The view from Beau Constantia (near Constantia Nek bus stop) really is something special even with the best of Cape Town’s sights looming around every corner.
Constantia is home to many respectable wines and vineyards (Groot Constantia, Constantia Uitsig, Buitenverwachting) and Beau Constantia is en route at trying to do something similar with its own vintage. Arriving there you will find easy parking with signs leading you all the way to the front door. Walking through a narrow tunnel of bush I felt completely unprepared for the vista before me after walking into Beau Constantia’s taste room.
The taste room itself is ideally situated with majestic mountain peaks and vineyards surrounding it and an uninterrupted view of False Bay ahead (you could hardly ask for more). Chantel, our wine connoisseur, explained that business has been bright with City Sightseeing’s bus stop just around the corner, “people get off the bus and are blown away by what they see”. Yet Beau Constantia is not just a pretty face, it has the quality of wine that attracts just as much attention.
At the moment, the vineyard is a modest one, so it has a limited capacity in what it can churn out. So far the vineyard only produces 10 000 bottles a year, not bad for a vineyard that brought out its first vintage a few years ago in 2010. They had three wines for us to choose from, the Cecily Viognier (2011), the Pas de Nom White (2011), and the Pas de Nom Red (2010).
Our first taste, the Cecily Viognier, was named after the owner’s wife while the Viognier grape itself is quite a rare and difficult grape to grow in South Africa. Not being an especially big wine drinker, the Cecily was the easiest of the three wines for me to drink because of its apparent softness. The next wine we drank was the Pas de Nom White (“no name” white), a blend of the Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and the Viognier. This was a more full-bodied wine, which makes it a better food pairing white wine than the Cecily.
The final wine, the Pas de Nom Red, is the only red wine that Beau Constantia has to offer at the moment but it was my favourite by a vineyard mile. It is a blend of the Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, the best of both worlds as it is both easy to drink and an excellent food pairing wine too.
Since planting their first crop in 2003 it seems as though Beau Constantia has really steamrolled into wine production at a scary pace and has already turned heads. Last year they won the Top Viognier Award from the SA Terroir Wine Awards and are in the process of releasing another two reds, the Beau Constantia Lucca and the Beau Constantia Aiden. There won’t be a better time for giving Beau Constantia a visit, because before you know it, they could be near the top of everyone’s wine drinking list.
Beau Constantia is the first wine stop on City Sightseeing wine tour route and is walking distance from Constantia Nek restaurant.
Buy your tickets here:
• Online at www.citysightseeing.co.za
Adults R120 (offline price R150), Kids (5-15 years) R70, Kids under 5 free.
• On the bus
• At out Ticket Office, outside the Two Oceans Aquarium: Bus Stop 1
I am currently a third year student at UCT and matriculated at Camps bay High School in 2009. My majors at UCT are English and History and for fun I go for regular hikes across the Cape Peninsula and can’t think of many trails or mountains I haven’t navigated within the area. I’ve traveled throughout the Western Cape by car for simple sight seeing and bird watching, including all the way up the West Coast and on a occasion to Graaff Reinet and Port Elizabeth.