December holidays are here, and a great idea for something “Groot” to do this summer that entails fresh air, beautiful scenery, delicious food, award winning wines and fun for all ages is a visit to Groot Constantia – SA’s oldest wine producing farm and a tourist hotspot that has been in existence since 1685!
As the longest running and biggest competition in South Africa, the Veritas Awards has earned a global reputation as one of South Africa’s most authoritative and credible competitions for market ready wines and is backed by a stringent judging system.
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.
The original Manor House at Groot Constantia (which is an Iziko Museum) is the starting point to the Visitors Route Experience and from here visitors make their way to the famed Cloete Cellar (the original wine production cellar from 1791 which is now a museum and tasting room), for a wine tasting experience. There is also the option to try a Chocolate and Wine Pairing Experience – a must for lovers of the sweeter side of things.
After enjoying a wine tasting, with your own Spiegelau crystal glass to take home as a souvenir (and well-timed Christmas gift treat), guests then head to the modern Production Cellar, which is the departure point for the self-guided cellar and vineyard audio-tours.
Fun and free self-guided audio tours
The Museum, Cellar, and Vineyard Audio Tours are free of charge and available for download by anyone with a smart phone.
The Vineyard Tour is a fantastic way to meet the grapes that give Groot Constantia’s wine so much personality and will delight visitors of all ages – even those who aren’t old enough for their first glass of wine. Groot Constantia’s viticulturist, Floricius Beukes, shares his deep inside knowledge on the Estates vineyards during this fun tour.
Retail therapy with a local twist
After completing the Visitors Route experience, be sure to stop in at the Wine and Gift shop on the Estate. This exciting retail experience is a festive celebration of all things local and showcases unique work, inspired by Groot Constantia, from a myriad of talented local South African entrepreneurs, artists, designers, and craftsmen.
Bespoke items to expect include things such as beautiful wine cooler bags hand made by Hands of Hope, a job-creation initiative for ex-offenders, ceramics that boast a stunning Groot Constantia illustration by Michael Chandler, cute bead and wire chickens and dogs by local wire artist Tavengwa Dahwa, soft and silky scarves with beautifully designed prints – and so much more!
A great day out requires a great meal too
A visit to Groot Constantia is not complete without a delicious meal at one of the two top-notch restaurants on the Estate – Jonkershuis and Simon’s.
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. A huge hit at Jonkershuis is the picnics, which can be pre-ordered (24 hours’ notice is needed) for any meal of the day. The restaurant also runs daily specials on their a la carte menu and will be open for Christmas day lunch and New Year’s Eve – but be sure to book well in advance!
Simon’s Restaurant offers al fresco dining on the terrace and is close to the duck pond for the kids to spend time feeding their feathered friends. A particularly popular drawcard is the live music at Simon’s every Wednesday and Friday evening, as well as during Sunday lunch. Simon’s also runs regular specials such as Burger Night, Date Night and Seafood Night, and the restaurant is open for Christmas eve, Christmas lunch and New Year’s day – with bookings essential.
Memorable and fun chauffeured transport
Groot Constantia is only a 25-minute drive from Cape Town’s city centre. Better still, for those who want to add another layer of fun to the day, and would like to relax and savour the award-winning wines, 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.
Taking a taste of Groot Constantia home with you
For those keen to purchase some wine to enjoy at home, over December and January Groot Constantia will be offering a limited release Heritage Selection Box, which comprise a collection of six premium wines, made up of three current wines and their three respective vintages from the Vintage Vault. This special Heritage Selection Box is available at the Wine and Gift shop.
Groot Constantia is celebrating 336 years of wine production this year and are inviting the public to experience it for themselves – 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.
Other than Christmas day, when the Estate remains closed (excluding the restaurants), Groot Constantia is open daily from 09h00. The Cloete Cellar and Production Cellar are open from 10h00 – 17h00, with the last tour at 16h00 and last tasting at 16h15. The tasting room at the entrance to Groot Constantia is open from 09h00 -18h00, with the last tasting at 17h15.
Cape Town Tourism at Groot Constantia
When visiting Groot Constantia during December and January keep your eyes open for Cape Town Tourism’s mobile Thando team, and you could win some great prizes to celebrate #GrootSummer! Snap a picture of yourself with the mobile information van and characters in the Groot Summer photo frame, post it using #GrootSummer and you could stand a chance to win experiences such as City Sightseeing tickets, a picnic at Jonkershuis, a burger at Simons, or Visitor Route Tickets. The team will be on the Estate on 22 December and 7, 8, 12, 21 as well as 22 January.
For more information visit www.grootconstantia.co.za or connect with Groot Constantia via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @GrootConstantia. To make a reservation at Jonkershuis contact+27 21 794-6255, or firstname.lastname@example.org. To book at Simon’s contact +27 21 794-1143 or email email@example.com.