Centuries-old vineyards at Constantia: Our first wine-tasting tour in South Africa

L12088251_848891241873232_2946849377145815409_nDave and I had big plans for the day. Our friend Thamar, who we had hiked up Lion’s Head with the previous day, recommended that we visit the vineyards at Constantia, a short drive south of Cape Town (she lives in Constantia). So we planned to pop in there and visit just three of them, before continuing south, visiting some of the coastal villages, then down the peninsula to look at penguin colonies and hike around the Cape of Good Hope.

Well, wine tasting in South Africa is not how we are used to it. They sit you down at a table and serve you your wines, one by one. It is not fast – but it is very pleasant! We really enjoyed the relaxed pace – but we only managed to make it to two wineries (we had lunch at the second one) and it was already 5:00! Too late to get to the Cape of Good Hope-so that was our day!

The first winery we went to was Constantia Glen. The landscape was stunning - rolling green vineyards surrounded by grey craggy peaks.

The first winery we went to was Constantia Glen. The landscape was stunning – rolling green vineyards surrounded by grey craggy peaks.

The tasting room was beautifully designed, with windows on three sides, so we could appreciate the views. We spent hours here!

The tasting room was beautifully designed, with windows on three sides, so we could appreciate the views. We spent hours here!

OK, time to leave Constantia Glen and move on!

OK, time to leave Constantia Glen and move on!

...and on to Groot Constantia - a winery established here more than three centuries ago, in 1685!

…and on to Groot Constantia – a winery established here more than three centuries ago, in 1685!

I was charged by an elephant from behind. Just kidding - there was some amazing artwork, especially wildlife paintings, on the walls in the tasting room.

I was charged by an elephant from behind. Just kidding – there was some amazing artwork, especially wildlife paintings, on the walls in the tasting room.

A really pleasant day - low-keyed and relaxed pace. We learned a lot about the different wines and theprocesses that give them their unique flavours. It was interesting trying different grapes that are not grown much in other regions around the world, such as pinotage.

A really pleasant day – low-keyed and relaxed pace. We learned a lot about the different wines and the processes that give them their unique flavours. It was interesting trying different grapes that are not grown much in other regions around the world, such as pinotage.

And the drie was really nice too, along thiscoast road, below the Twelve Apostles that we had glimpsed from our hike the day before.

And the drive was really nice too, along this coast road, below the Twelve Apostles that we had glimpsed from our hike the day before.

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