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Wine Tasting: Beau Constantia Vineyard; Cape Town, South Africa

Winery/Producer: Beau Constantia Vineyard.

Appellation: The Constantia wine region is located on the southeastern slopes of the mountains separating the city of Cape Town from False Bay South Africa. Beau Constantia is a boutique vineyard of about 28 acres of grapes on some of the steepest agricultural slopes in the Cape area

Tasting Room and Location:
Beau Constantia Vineyard
Constantia Main Road; Constantia, South Africa.
On the outskirts of CapeTown, South Africa
GPS: S 34o0′ 48.57″
E 018o24″ 21.67″
www.beauconstantia.com
Tel: +27 21 794 8632

Grape Variety Tasted: Sauvignon Blanc; Blend of: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot; Blend of: Merlot and Cabernet Franc; and a Blend of: Shiraz, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot.

Tasting Price: R45 (South African Rand) about $3.70 (US$)

Comments: Our visit to the Beau Constantia Winery was a last minute destination because the ship we were on was delayed about a half day getting into the port. We had planned to go to the well known Stellenbosch wine producing area north of Cape Town, but simply didn’t have the time. The sommeliers on the ship had told us about the very accessible vineyards in the Cape area and recommended them highly. So we found a bus that went to the Cape area and again because of limited time only went to one vineyard.

When we arrived at the vineyard gate we had to walk a few hundred feet on their private lane that traversed the top of the mountain to their tasting facility. That introduction was an “out of this world” picturesque experience. The steep valley hillside was covered with grapes growing on terraced slopes and in the distance were spectacular panoramic views across the valley all the way down the mountain to the ocean. It was like a wine-lovers heaven!!! Then when we arrived at the modern, floor to ceiling glass two story building we couldn’t believe the ambiance…instead of the traditional bar style tasting they had intimate groupings of lounge chairs and tables inside and on terraces outside all with the magnificent views of the vineyard and valley below. We were so taken back that we couldn’t believe we were at a winery tasting. It was so pleasant we both commented to each other that with such a beautiful ambiance it didn’t make any difference what the wines were like…simply being there was an experience.

Lauren, our wine tasting assistant told us about the vineyard and explained the tasting. They offer a tasting of their wines (one white and three reds) and had a whole menu of cheeses and meat platters you could order to go with the tasting. Again, because of our time constraints we selected just the wine tasting. Then to our surprise when Lauren poured our first wine we couldn’t believe the generous quantity of the wine. Lauren was both knowledgeable and enthusiastic about wine and each time she poured a different wine we received substantive information about it and she talked about the previous wine with us. In between pours we sat and drank our wine and enjoyed the view….and best of all we set the pace.

OK now for the BEST part…all the wines were very good!!! We were simply blown away by the whole experience. The only thing that could have made it better would have been for our North Carolina friends, Todd and Susan (who love wines almost as much as we do) could have been with us to enjoy it together!!!

Recommendation from the tasting: Very nice wines, and although we didn’t order food with our tasting or eat in the cafe the menus look delicious and the prices very reasonable. Lauren, our tasting assistant made the experience interesting and was an outstanding hostess for us as first time visitors to CapeTown. We bought the Pas De Nom White 2014 (Sauvignon Blanc) and the Beau Constantia Aidan 2012 (Shiraz, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot blend), but, all the wines were good…something we very seldom say at a vineyard tasting!!! We would recommend a wine tasting, or better yet a nice lunch with wine, at Beau Constantia for every visitor to Cape Town, even if your not a wine drinker. The “picture perfect” views and wine tasting experience was MEMORABLE.

Lastly we wish many of the Vineyards in the United States would learn a lesson from the Beau Constantia tasting, both from the size of the pours, and the relaxed and comfortable setting made the whole wine tasting experience VERY enjoyable.

The view of the vineyard valley

Beau Constantia tasting room and restaurant

Ray and Lauren, our tasting assistant

The comfortable tasting room