Groot Constantia is one of those iconic attractions in Cape Town that you just have to visit once in your lifetime. I, however, have visited many times. Reasons include the great food, history and old buildings, it being a wonderful place to catch up with family and friends, and as you drive through the gates you are greeted by rows and rows of beautiful vineyards, a tractor or two, people working in the vineyards and you realise that this working farm has been standing for 333 years!
I spent last Friday, 2nd of February, at this Wine Estate as they celebrated their 333rd harvest. The Harvest Celebration was attended by media and bloggers and we were treated to great food and wine, while in the company of winemaker Boela Gerber and Viticulturist Floricus Beukes.
As we all arrived for the Harvest Celebration At Groot Constantia, we were greeted by the softest rain. I thought that it was a fitting way to celebrate the 333rd harvest as we stare into the face of Day Zero.
The day started off with Floricus discussing all the measures that Groot Constantia took to become a WWF South Africa Conservation Champion – from cutting down their water usage to introducing ladybugs to the farm to help control mealybug population, an eco-friendly pest control, minimizing their impact on the environment.
Floricus also mentioned that the previous night, 1 February, Groot Constantia hosted The Wine Harvest Commemorative Event. Every year, since 1974, the medal is awarded to significant role-players in the industry. And this year, it was symbolically awarded to honour the voiceless and often faceless wine workers over the centuries by making them the collective recipient of the 1659 medal, as without them the wine industry could never have flourished. They are a fitting recipient of this award, because without the people, there wouldn’t be historic estates like Groot Constantia
Next up was an audio tour of the vineyards with MyVoiceMap, but before we headed out to discover the secrets of the vineyard, Iain Manley, from MyVoiceMap, chatted to us about the 3 Audio Tours that Groot Constantia now offers: Manor House Museum Tour, Cellar Tour, and the Vineyard Tour. These immersive audio walks give you wonderful insight into the history, culture, and the people of Groot Constantia.
After the Audio Tour of the vineyards – where you learn about the types of varieties, view the dam and the historic baths at the top of the vineyards – we were treated to a delicious lunch at Jonkershuis Restaurant.
I was a bit starstruck at the Harvest Celebration At Groot Constantia. I met the legendary Di Brown from The Roaming Giraffe and someone sat me next to Boela! Oh my goodness, I tried my hardest not to be too awkward – because, as you know, I can really put my foot in it. But I somehow made it through the lunch without too much embarrasment.
All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend a Friday! Thank you Groot Constantia for inviting me and here is to another 333 years!
Harvest Celebration At Groot Constantia
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