Constantia, South Africa
Viticulture in the Cape region of South Africa dates from 1651 when the first vines were planted by Dutch settlers. Wine was produced from these grapes for the first time in 1658, and in 1685 Constantia was established by Simon Van der Stel as a growing region between False Bay and Hout Bay. Van der Stel planted the first Muscat de Frontignan grapes in the Constantia Valley, thus beginning the legacy of the famous sweet wine of Constantia, best known today as Vin de Constance.
The location of the vines proved not only a beautiful setting, but tactically beneﬁcial as the decomposed granite soils, akin to those in Hermitage, on slopes gently cooled by ocean breezes offer a distinctive viticultural environment. To protect this environment, Klein Constantia today is a Biodiversity in Wine Initiative Champion, committed to maintaining the Cape Floristic Province of the surrounding area that is home to 14,000 different species of ﬂora and fauna – arguably the most biodiverse ﬂoral kingdom on earth.
The new era for Klein Constantia’s 146 hectare Estate began in 1986, when production of sweet Muscat de Frontignan wine – now known as Vin de Constance – was revived. Alongside this iconic wine, a range of elegant Estate wines are produced, with a particular focus on the variations of Sauvignon Blanc which can be achieved from differing parcels of vineyard.
A recent renovation of the winery and cellar allows winemaker Matthew Day to concentrate on attention to detail, making cleaner, fresher wines that could only hail from the inimitable Klein Constantia terroir.