REVIEW: Groot Constantia Wine Estate

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Groot Constantia Wine Estate

Our Features Writer Fundiswa Nkwanyana tells us about her visit to the Groot Constantia Wine Estate in Cape Town.

As a lover of the finer things in life on a budget, I was thrilled when I found out that a ticket to a comprehensive wine pairing session was less than R200. I thought there was a catch because this also included entrance to the manor house museum, a guided cellar tour, five wine and handcrafted chocolate pairing plus a souvenir crystal glass.

ON ARRIVAL

As I entered the estate I was welcomed by white Cape Dutch style buildings, lush lawns, tall trees and sweeping views of the vineyards and crystal blue clouds. I was mesmerized by the tranquillity of the estate as I strolled pass a rustic restaurant, making my way to the museum.

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THE MANOR HOUSE MUSEUM

I was taken aback by the chaos that filled the visitor’s centre that is next to the museum. There was a large group of tourists crowding the entrance as their tour guide spoke to them. I squeezed my way pass them only to find more people inside, all waiting for the tour to start. After several attempts I managed to get the attention of a staff member who directed me to the museum. I didn’t find the museum fascinating because it showcased exhibitions about the lives of Cape farmers during the 18th and 19th century and because I’m interested in black history, I didn’t find the exhibitions interesting.

GUIDED CELLAR TOUR

I was excited to learn more about the production of wine and was eager to start the tour. The guide struggled to talk over the large number of guests and over the noise in the cellars; I found myself overwhelmed on her behalf. During the tour we made several stops where the guide rapidly explained the winemaking process. It was a short and informative tour.

CHOCOLATE AND WINE PAIRING

I was given my wine glass together with five chocolates to begin my pairing. Once seated, a sommelier gave me a detailed description of each wine and also guided me on how to swirl, smell and taste it. I was happy to learn the correct way to taste and drink wine. I learnt how to identify the different scents and flavours and this made the whole experience worthwhile. The chocolates were delicious on their own and when paired with the wine, it was a memorable indulgence. I tasted red and white wines and I was pleasantly surprised that they were quite generous with their portions.

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OVERALL EXPERIENCE


I’m glad that I walked away from my visit, knowing about more wine and eager to return for a different type of wine pairing. I wish I had spent more time taking in the breath-taking views of the vineyards and the sky. If you are a wine lover and a chocolate enthusiast, I highly recommend you pay the Groot Constantia Wine Estate. I can’t wait to share my new knowledge about wine with everyone because I feel now like a sommelier in the making.