Along the route between quirky Muizenberg on the False Bay coast and bustling Hout Bay on the Atlantic is Cape Town’s closest and oldest wine district, Constantia. Here, nestled on the slopes of Constantiaberg with views of False Bay lays Klein Constantia, a beautiful vineyard that dates back to 1685 when Simon van der Steel first started growing wine in the Cape.
This is where one of the world’s best dessert wines is produced; Vin de Constance. A wine described as having “over 300 years of history in every bottle” and immortalised by authors such as Jane Austen who recommended that her forsaken heroine try a little Constantia for “…its healing powers on a disappointed heart”. Don’t let its unassuming description “natural sweet wine” fool you; this is something out of the ordinary that consistently appears in lists of the world’s top 10 wines. At ZAR 450 per bottle for the most recent vintage, it is pretty steep but it is truly heaven in a bottle.
Vin de Constance is part of the normal winetasting range, so it is well worth the ZAR 30 to try 4 wines and also get a little taste of heaven (and the cost is waived if you decide to buy anything). Klein Constantia also has a really nice viewing platform in their “backoffice” where you can see the grapes being sorted and the barrels of Vin de Constance stirred.