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Summer festive fun at Groot Constantia

Groot Constantia is one of Cape Town’s oldest tourist attractions, including SA’s oldest wine-producing farm that has been in existence since 1685. Picture: Supplied

Groot Constantia is one of Cape Town’s oldest tourist attractions, including SA’s oldest wine-producing farm that has been in existence since 1685. Picture: Supplied

Published Dec 14, 2021

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Even though the fear of the fourth wave is upon us, the December holidays are here. And what better way to spend it than in the fresh air with beautiful scenery, delicious food, award-winning wines and big-time fun for all ages. Safely, of course.

Groot Constantia is one of Cape Town’s oldest tourist attractions, including SA’s oldest wine-producing farm that has been in existence since 1685.

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What to expect at Groot Constantia

Groot Constantia offers a family-friendly self-guided tour that follows a specially designed circular route through Groot Constantia’s key attractions.

The original Manor House at Groot Constantia, an Iziko museum, is the starting point to the Visitors Route Experience, and from here visitors make their way to the famed Cloete Cellar, which is a museum and wine-tasting room. There is an option to try a chocolate and wine pairing – a must for those with a sweet tooth.

Enjoying a wine tasting with your own Spiegelau crystal glass to take home as a souvenir and well-timed Christmas gift.

Free self-guided audio tours

The Museum, Cellar and Vineyard audio tours are free of charge and available for download on your smartphone.

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The Vineyard Tour is a fantastic way to meet the grapes that give their wines so much personality. Groot Constantia’s viticulturist, Floricius Beukes, shares his knowledge on the estate’s vineyards during the tour.

Retail therapy with a local twist

The wine farm has a wine and gift shop on the estate. This exciting retail experience is a festive celebration of all things local. It showcases unique work, inspired by Groot Constantia, from a myriad of talented local South African entrepreneurs, artists, designers and craftsmen.

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Done by local wire artist Tavengwa Dahwa.

Some of the items in the store include twine cooler bags handmade by Hands of Hope, a job-creation initiative for ex-offenders. Soft and silky scarves with beautifully designed prints – and so much more!

Food!

A visit to Groot Constantia is not complete without a delicious meal. Groot Constantia has one of two top-notch restaurants on the estate – Jonkershuis and Simon’s.

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Jonkershuis is surrounded by ancient oak trees. With its relaxed child-friendly atmosphere, it is a lovely family restaurant to visit with the kids – furry ones, too.

Jonkershuis offers picnic spots which can be pre-ordered (24 hours’ notice is needed) for any meal of the day. The restaurant also runs daily specials on their à la carte menu and will be open for Christmas Day lunch and New Year’s Eve – but be sure to book well in advance!

Jonkershuis Restaurant.

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. Once again, booking is essential.

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 and return you later to the city.

Groot Constantia is celebrating 336 years of wine production this year and is 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, and taste world-class wines.

Groot Constantia is open daily from 9am. The Cloete Cellar and Production Cellar are open from 10am to 5pm, with the last tour at 4pm and last tasting at 4.15pm. The tasting room at the entrance to Groot Constantia is open from 9am to 6pm, with the last tasting at 5.15pm.

#GrootSummer

If you do visit Groot Constantia during December and January, be on the lookout for Cape Town Tourism’s mobile Thando team and you could win some great prizes.

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 Simon’s, or Visitors Route tickets.

The team will be on the estate on December 22, as well as January 7, 8, 12, 21 and 22.

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 [email protected] To book at Simon’s contact +27 21 794 1143 or email [email protected]

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