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Groot Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini.
Groot Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa. Author Marco Ramerini.

Groot Constantia: vineyards in Cape Town

Groot Constantia is an old farm, which was declared a national monument, it’s located in the suburbs of Cape Town, in the Cape Peninsula in front of the False Bay. Groot Constantia was founded in 1685 by the governor of the Dutch colony of the Cape of Good Hope, Simon van der Stel, the farm was used from the beginning for the production of wine, fruit, vegetables and livestock.

A few years after the death of Simon van der Stel, that took place in 1712, the property changed hands, in fact in 1716 it was bought by Captain Oloff Bergh, then in the following years, first the property passed to Carl George Wieser and then in 1777 to Jan Serrurier. Serrurier was forced to sell the farm after only twelve months in 1779 to Hendrik Cloete. The estate was owned by the family Cloetes until 1885, the Cloetes restored the property and greatly improved the quality of the wine, making to their productions to acquire an international reputation. The wine produced in Constantia became very popular in the royal houses of Europe.

Vineyards of Groot Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Vineyards of Groot Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa. Author Marco Ramerini

In 1885 Groot Constantia was sold at a public auction at the Cape government and used as a farm and for the testing of the vines. In 1925 a fire damaged part of the main house, which, however, was restored a few years later. In 1969 Groot Constantia became part of the South African Cultural History Museum, today the Museum of Groot Constantia presents the history of slavery and the rural life of the slaves during the Dutch colonial period at the Cape. Groot Constantia, is the most beautiful example of Cape Dutch architecture of South Africa and one of the oldest buildings in the country.

The Groot Constantia vineyards are in a deep valley on the eastern side of Table Mountain, with cool climate and good soil that’s the ideal place for the cultivation and production of high quality wine, mainly red wines like Shiraz and Merlot. The area has a maritime climate through the influence of the ocean and an average annual rainfall of about 1100 mm, with 78% of the rain that falls between May and October.

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