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Groot Constantia

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South Africa is increasingly well-known for its wines, with the wine country near Cape Town being a particularly popular stop with oenophiles and foodies alike. One highlight of any wine tasting trip near Cape Town is to the oldest wine estate in South Africa at Groot Constantia.

The property in Constantia was given to Simon van der Stel in 1685 by the Dutch East India Company, which had an outpost at the Cape of Good Hope. At the time, van der Stel was the Dutch East India Company’s Governor of this area, and it’s his name that later was used at Simon’s Town south of Cape Town. He built a manor house and began farming grapes for wine production. In 1779, a wine-making family purchased the part of the Groot Constantia estate that included van der Stel’s manor house. It’s that family, the Cloetes, who is to thank for making Groot Constantia one of the area’s top wine estates, especially noted for its Constantia dessert wine.

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