December holidays are fast approaching and this year, more than ever before, families are excited to get out and about to make memories, have fun and celebrate the end of the year and the festive season.
A great idea for something to do this summer with your family that entails fresh air, beautiful scenery, delicious food, award winning wines and fun for the kids is a visit to Groot Constantia to experience all that the estate has to offer.
Groot Constantia is SA’s oldest wine producing farm and the only wine estate that is a member of the Big 6 Tourist Destinations – keeping good company alongside Kirstenbosch, Table Mountain, Cape Point, Robben Island and the V&A Waterfront.
Hop On The Red City Sightseeing Bus
This Provincial heritage site and living museum offers visitors a wonderful day out – and is only a 25-minute drive from Cape Town’s city centre. Better still, for those who don’t feel like driving, and want to add another level of fun to the day out, you can catch the red double decker open-topped City Sightseeing bus, which will take you to Groot Constantia – whilst enjoying a beautiful scenic drive – and return you later to the city.
Groot Constantia and City Sightseeing are currently running a special offer, where for R229 you get your return bus ticket to the estate as well as a three-glass wine tasting. Book your ticket directly from City Sightseeing by visiting www.citysightseeing.co.za.
What to expect at Groot Constantia
A must-do experience when visiting Groot Constantia is the Visitors Route which is a family-friendly self-guided tour which follows a specially designed circular route through Groot Constantia’s key attractions – with a free, easy to follow map given to all visitors.
The architecture at the Estate alone is worth seeing, with buildings dating back three centuries and the original Manor House at Groot Constantia (which is an Iziko Museum) is the starting point to the Visitors Route Experience. From here, visitors make their way to the famed Cloete Cellar, which is the original wine production cellar from 1791 with its gorgeous pediment adorned with frolicking cherubs.
This historic cellar, which was designed by Louis Thibault, was where the famous Grand Constance wine was produced, and forms an integral part of Groot Constantia as well as world wine heritage, with half of the cellar housing a museum, whilst the other half features a tasting room. Visitors can also view a rare bottle of Grand Constance that was produced in the Cloete Cellar in 1821 and has been returned to its place of origin.
After enjoying a wine tasting, with your own Spiegelau crystal glass to take home as a memento and well-timed Christmas gift treat, guests then head to the modern Production Cellar, which is the departure point for the self-guided audio-tours.
There is also the option to try a Chocolate and Wine Pairing Experience – a must for lovers of the sweeter side of things.
The audio-guided Museum Tour, Cellar Tour and Vineyard Tour are free of charge and available for download by anyone with a smart phone so that they can do a self-guided tour at their leisure – either alone or in a group. The Groot Constantia audio tours were developed by VoiceMap – a proudly Cape Town innovation that merges tourism and marketing with the latest technology.
Groot Summer Fun For Kids Too
Groot Constantia is a wonderful child-friendly wine estate. Just outside the Cloete Cellar is the famed pond that has seen many generations of happy ducks going about their day. Children love feeding these much-loved feathered stalwarts of the Groot Constantia landscape.
Be sure to take the kids for a short walk to the historic ornamental bath – which dates back to the 1700’s. Mountain water flows into the bath at one end through the horn of the carved Triton statue and, although swimming is not permitted, one can just imagine the residents of Groot Constantia over the hundreds of years cooling off in this clear water during the summer months!
Family Fun Accompanied By A Meal
All this exploring is bound to make for hungry visitors. Groot Constantia has two top-notch restaurants, Jonkershuis and Simon’s, where families can enjoy a great meal after they have finished exploring the Visitors Route. Both restaurants offer delicious picnics with vegetarian and children’s options available, and both have a la carte children’s menus. Simons also offers a Halaal friendly picnic whilst Jonkershuis offers a vegan friendly picnic.
Jonkershuis is surrounded by ancient oak trees and with its relaxed child-friendly atmosphere is a lovely family restaurant to visit with the kids – furry ones too. Dogs on leashes are welcomed and bowls of water are provided. Here children can run, play, chase each other, or play hide and seek by the trees. Simon’s offers al fresco dining on the terrace and Is close to the duck pond for the kids to spend time feeding their feathered friends.
Worth noting is that in addition to being able to do wine tasting in the Cloete Cellar, the Groot Constantia wines can be purchased in both the Cloete Cellar and modern Production Cellar. Groot Constantia is a small volume wine estate that produces limited quantities of hand-crafted classic estate wines which continue to win accolades – achieving over 100 awards in the past 10 years alone.
Groot Constantia is celebrating 335 years of wine production this year. Come and experience it for yourself – immerse yourself in the history of the Cape’s wine industry, have fun with family and friends, taste world-class wines, make memories, relax and unwind.
For more information visit www.grootconstantia.co.za or connect with Groot Constantia via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @GrootConstantia.