Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wine Tasting in the Constantia Valley

One of me dearest friends, G, had a bit of a nasty car accident this past Saturday morning... thankfully he wasn't hurt, but his Ford is a little fudged, so in an effort to cheer him up and keep his mind of insurance people, Mr fabulosity and I decided to take him wine tasting in the afternoon.

This of course didn't take much persuading on anyone's part, because we're always up for an adventure, especially if it includes wine.

After debating which route to visit, we all realised we'd never really explored Constantia's Wine Route before, and after a few phone calls regarding opening times and directions, we headed towards Constantia Neck to start our journey.

It's such a scenic drive from Sea Point, as you go through Camps Bay and Hout Bay before the Neck, and hardly takes long at all. Perhaps 25 minutes, before we hit the first farm, Constantia Glen. When the waitress/hostess explained that due to a large group visiting and eating lunch, that they could only serve us in about 15 minutes, we decided in the essence of time – and because we felt her approach was slightly rude – that we should just move on to Eagle's Nest, literally next door.

Eagle's Nest
The wine guys at Eagle's Nest (eaglesnestwines.com) were friendly and informative. Tasting are R30, and include all six wines. My favourite was definitely the shiraz, but that's no surprise to anyone that knows me. I had been dying to try it after hearing such rave reviews. The 2009 Viognier was also a winner for me, while G was a fan of the Sauvignon Blanc. They are open for tasting from Mondays to Sundays from 10am to 4.30pm, 021 794 4095
Eagle's Nest

Eagle's Nest
The next wine estate we visited, and probably spent most of our time at, was Klein Constantia (www.kleinconstantia.com). The farm is based on one of the oldest vineyard regions in the Cape, with the first wines being produced in 1689. The family-run estate makes 15 different wines, including an entry-level range called KC, offering a red (Cab-Marlot blend) and a white (Sauvignon Blanc). Sauvignon Blanc's aren't normally my first choice, but the KC Sauv Blanc took me by surprise as one of my favourites of the whole lot. They also make a gorgeous Noble Late Harvest, that made me want to break out the blue cheese right then and there. Tasting of the entire range costs R30, and you get it back if you buy some wine. In winter, their operating hours are from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and from 10am to 4:30pm on Saturdays, 021 794 5188.

Klein Constantia
Klein Constantia wine shop
Getting a wine education at Klein Constantia

Our last stop was Steenberg (www.steenberghotel.com), which by this stage, I was already well on my way to having a great afternoon!!! We arrived fairly late, after keeping the Klein Constantia guys busy quite a bit after 'closing time' and so only had a short amount of time to try a couple wines at Steenburg. We started with a bubbly, the Brut 1682 Chardonnay 2009 (MCC), and then I tried the shiraz 2008. The tasting was free, and after sampling those two, it was 6pm, and time to start heading back towards town. Operating hours: From 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday and from 10am to 6pm on Weekends, 021 713 2222.

steenberg - oh the excitement!
steenberg brut chardonnay

What a lovely afternoon it was, and I can't wait to go back and try some of the other estates and revisit the three above. 

Party people


Seth said...

lovely indeed and deserved an encore!

Jen Evans said...

interesting reading. Im giving it a try this weekend if the weather holds out.