If you are a wine lover and want to gain knowledge about the winemaking regions in South Africa, then consider visiting Cape Town. Your travel to this beautiful city will take you to the Constantia Valley, the smallest lush wine land in South Africa. The Constantia Valley, which is just 20-miunte drive away in the southern part of Cape Town, has 11 vineyards which are historical as well.
The Constantia Valley was formerly ruled by the British in 1814. However, vines were introduced here much earlier in 1685 by Dutch colonists. This has made Constantia Valley among the world’s oldest winemaking region outside the European continent. During those times wine making was quite painstaking, and with limited production and expensive bottles. The aristocracy then primarily purchased and consumed the wine.
The wines produced from Constantia Valley were highly popular and were consumed by Frederick II of Prussia, King Louis Philippe of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, members of British royalty and many other dignitaries. Special guests were also served the wines from this region during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The history of wine making in South Africa dates back to 350 years and more. The production of wine started at Steenberg Vineyards during the late 1600s. In fact, the Steenberg Vineyards is the oldest vineyard in South Africa. Despite its longstanding winemaking history, the Constantia Valley is acknowledged as the wine producer of New World. The Steenberg Vineyards are found over the Steenberg Mountain slopes with amazing views over the False Bay. The estate buildings here date to 1682. They have been restored and accorded the status of national monument. It is the most frequented place in Cape Town. The entire complex is presently home to a wine tasting bar and lounge, two restaurants, a golf course, residences, a luxury boutique hotel and a newly-opened bar named Gorgeous. The 17th century Dutch manor buildings at the vineyard sport an awesome look with 15 contemporary steel sculptures carved by Edoardo Villa, a renowned South African artist.
The Steenberg Vineyard was the first in South Africa to plant Nebbiolo. This is an amazing red Italian varietal, which has hints of cherries, rhubarb and strawberries and is floral and medium bodied. The vineyard after 20 years of its first planting has now mastered the art of grape cultivation using cooling ocean air and terroir of clay-rich soil. The Sauvignon Blanc brand is the top seller from Steenberg Estate. It has tinges of passion fruit, citrus and flint. With aging, the plant becomes more herbaceous and grassier.
Countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy and France are considered to be the Old World wine producers. The wines prepared in these countries consist of more tannin and have less fruit flavor. Moreover, they also require more aging. On the contrary, places like the Americas, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa are the producers of New World wines. The wines produced here have more fruit flavor. They are produced in quite expressive styles and can be drunk even without aging for a longer time.