Groot Constantia is South Africa's oldest estate and one of South Africa's most visited tourist attractions. In 1685 Cape Governor Simon van der Stel built a farm in the foothills of Table Mountain, which he named Constantia. Groot Constantia received world acclaim from Napoleon, Bismarck and King Louis Philippe of France who was the biggest single buyer of Groot Constantia wines. They had to sell to the Cape government after phylloxera ravaged the vineyards. Now, the total estate covers 165 hectares of which 87 hectares are planted, at a height of 60 - 280 metres above sea level. The climate is generally cool resulting in complex and balanced wines.
A cool winter and unusually high rainfall in spring characterised the 2014 vintage. Extra vigilance was required in the vineyards in order to avoid disease and ensure even ripening. Dry, warmer conditions during January and February resulted in ripe, good quality grapes at harvest time.
The Muscat grapes are grown in a vineyard block right next to the famous Manor House, which is situated at 80 to 90 metres above sea level. The low yielding vines are planted on a south east facing slope. The climate is Mediterranean with cooling breezes from the Atlantic Ocean encouraging a low slow hang time, concentrating the flavours in the grapes. The vines are grown in Cartref, Longlands and Kroonstad soils.
Patience is a virtue when producing a wine with nectar so sweet. The semi-sun dried Muscat d'Frontignan bunches were harvested at the beginning to middle of April. Fermentation started on the skins to extract maximum flavour and aromas, the fermentation was then completed in third and fourth-fill French oak. Following the fermentation, the wines were racked and transferred back into the barrels to mature for a further 24 months.
This legendary sweet wine shows honey, apricot, pineapple and Turkish delight on the nose. The sweet, dried fruit flavours follow on the palate. The natural acidity beautifully balances the sweetness of the wine, leaving a very moreish finish. Serving Suggestion This is the perfect wine to have after a meal, with creamy cheeses and rich patés.