When people think “Wine Route”, they generally think of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl or Wellington (jks – no-one goes to Wellington deliberately). We think that Local is lekker though, so we headed just down the road to sample a bit of what Constantia had to offer.
It had been a while since we had been on the Constantia Wine Route, and we came far from doing all of it today. However, three wine farms and 19 wines later, we’d had a good time. It was only when we got back that I realised I hadn’t taken many photos. Having too much fun, see?
First up was Klein Constantia, where a tasting is R30 for 7 wines, but buy a bottle (or more) and they’ll waive the fee. The informative Johan helped us out. They still have their peculiar ‘stand up and taste’ set up, but the wines are superb, including (of course) their famous Vin de Constance and the last of their unusual, but incredible 2007 Madame Marlbrook. All I need is some fine quality seafood to pair it up with now.
I don’t have much more to add here. They just do stuff well, with understated elegance.
Then it was up the hill to Eagles’ Nest. It’s another beautiful place, without the spectacular views of its closest neighbours, but with enthusiastic service; it’s family friendly and tourist driven (it’s on the Red Bus wine tour). The wines though? Not all that. Perhaps the exception was their Little Eagle Rosé, which was alive with crisp strawberry flavours. Their flagship 2012 Shiraz was rather ordinary, and – I thought – vastly overpriced at R225 a bottle. Those Brits on the bus must have thought they were in heaven though. When you compare this with what you get in Tesco for what is essentially ten quid – suddenly you start to understand the pricing structure. R50 gets you a 5 wine tasting, and you have to spend over R300 per person to get that refunded.
Protea on the way up to Constantia Glen
And then onward and upward to Constantia Glen. Last time we were up here (amazingly 4 years ago to the day), we had the tiny place to ourselves. This time, we were greeted with a bright, modern, brand new tasting room and restaurant, plus literally hundreds of people. We got the last two seats at the bar and tucked into one of their cheese and charcuterie platters with a Premium (capital P) wine tasting (R80 for seven wines) for me and a white wine tasting (R55 for 4 wines) for Mrs 6k. Enoch may have helped her out with a couple of refills though. If you’re Enoch’s boss and you have a problem with this, then he didn’t. But he’s still great.
Wines here are excellent, especially their Estate Range Sauvignon Blanc with lots of grass and lots of green figs. On the reds, the bold Three is good, but the hugely rich and deep Five French blend is simply sublime and paired beautifully with the cheeses on the platter. We spent [rather a lot] here, meaning that our tasting was gratis and we have a nicely stocked wine rack for the foreseeable future. Winning.
We’re so lucky to have these amazing places right on our doorstep, but we sometimes need a reminder that they are there. So, let this blog post be it and give yourself a few hours off over the summer holiday enjoying some of the superb wine Constantia has to offer.
Not a sponsored post. Just a really good day.