Three hundred and thirty-three years. Let that swirl around for a moment, like that first taste of a fine cabernet sauvignon on a crispy, wintery day. That’s how long Groot Constantia has been producing their award-winning wines, and last month I got to join in on the fun.
Last year I attended my first ever media event at Groot Constantia in celebration of spring. On a gorgeous sunny day, I broke bread with some like-minded new peeps and indulged at Jonkershuis restaurant. In the past, I’ve dabbled in the estate’s famous wine and chocolate pairing while catching up with family, and gotten giggly with friends sitting by a crackling fire. Safe to say the estate is a familiar and warm place to me, and their auspicious 333rd birthday was celebrated with much the same feeling.
After a pop of bubbles and hearty welcomes, the first of 333 trees were planted along the estate’s sun-dappled lane. I smiled to myself watching little kids help do the honours, enjoying the simple but necessary pleasure of gardening. Groot Constantia might be the oldest wine-producing estate in South Africa, but it’s also doing its part for the future through nature conservation. So much so that it’s been named as one of the official Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF-SA) Conservation Champions.
Safe to say Groot Constantia is a place that’s rich in history, culture and dedicated people – and then of course there’s the food and wine. To celebrate, these were all enjoyed in the barn-style setting of Simon’s restaurant. More welcomes and a walk through some of the wines’ finest moments at the World Fairs brought us to the hardest part of the day – choosing your menu. Pan-roasted Kingklip or Cape Malay Vegetable Curry? That is the real question (I went with the fish YUM).
In the company of old and new friends, I chatted foodie choices, cameras and other existential struggles like “white or red?” and then suddenly the rain came pattering down outside. Just in time to water the new little trees. And kick off another 333 years of celebrated wines.
Have you booked your visit to Groot Constantia yet?