About Groot Constantia

Groot Constantia was first owned (when it incorporated Klein Constantia and some of Bergvliet) by Simon van der Stel, himself an avid wine maker who was to place the Cape on the wine map. He became known as the founding father of the Cape wine industry.

Did you know? Groot Constantia is the oldest producing wine estate in the country and has played a pivotal role in wine for over three centuries.

When van der Stel arrived in the Cape in 1662 van Riebeeck was already growing vines in the Company's Garden and along the Liesbeeck River in the areas we know today as Mowbray, Newlands and Rondebosch. His wines were nothing to write home about, however, mainly because grapes were picked way too early to avoid birds making off with the lion share.

Van der Stel knew a lot more about producing palatable wines, particularly about leaving the grapes until they were virtually shrivelled before picking them.

He was to select for himself the area now known as Groot Constantia (although it was a lot bigger then) as a wine farm, and planted about 10 000 vines. The farm's layout today is his, although the appearance of the buildings underwent a major change once the estate fell into the hands of Hendrik Cloete in 1778.

It was during the Cloete dynasty that wine became hugely successful and Constantia wines were celebrated in Europe by kings and aristocracy, including Napoleon who apparently bought it by the case load whilst exiled on St Helena.

A succession of wars between Britain and France, the French Revolution and then the Napoleonic wars meant that the flow of wines from France dried up and the Cape began supplying wines to England and Europe. After the end of the wars the demand for wines of the Cape declined, and so did the wealth of the Cloetes.

The hugely acclaimed dessert wines were successful because the vines were maintained as dwarf bushes, the grapes hung as close to the ground as possible, giving the grapes a high sugar content, and the branches were twisted to lower the flow of nutrients, thereby sweetening the grapes.

At its height, when the wines were doing so well, Hendrik Cloete did major restoration on the manor house and buildings at Groot Constantia. Amongst other changes, he plastered and whitewashed the walls, and doubled the width of the previous roof and thatched it. He also added large sash windows, in order to maintain the proportions of the house and added a much taller, embellished gable, the tallest at the Cape at the time.

The buildings today, are very much what the Cloete's left as their legacy.

The Cape government bought the farm in 1885, just before the original vines were all ravaged by the phylloxera epidemic. The farm was then completely replanted with vines grafted onto American disease-resistance stock.

In 1925 a fire destroyed the homestead in hours. A painstaking restoration project, led by the architect FK Kendall, revealed all the details of Cloete's restoration. It was refurnished thanks to a generous gift by Alfred Aaron de Pass and the government then handed the farm over to an independent trust in 1993.

Since then it has run as a profit making wine estate.

Visit for wine tasting, a tour of the original homestead (now an Iziko Museum), Jonkershuis and Simon's restaurants or to buy Groot Constantia wines. The grounds are particularly beautiful.

Popular Groot Constantia

Wine Tours & Tasting

Groot Constantia Wine Tasting

Stay? Constantia Accommodation
The legendary wines of the Groot Constantia Estate in Constantia, Cape Town may be tasted and bought every day from 9am to 6pm. The cost per person includes 5 wines ...


Visit Iziko Museum at Groot Constantia

Stay? Constantia Accommodation
Groot Constantia is a national monument and is the oldest and first farm to produce wine in the Cape. The estate is the benchmark by which the heritage of the Cape ...

Wine Tours & Tasting

Groot Constantia Wine Cellar and Cellar Tours

Stay? Constantia Accommodation
A variety of tours are offered at Groot Constantia Guided tours through the modern cellar are offered daily from 10am to 4pm throughout the year. Tours last from ...

Need to Know

WhereGroot Constantia, Groot Constantia Road, Constantia, Constantia Valley, Cape Town, South Africa

When7 days a week, including public holidays. Closed only on Good Friday, Christmas Day and the 1st of January.

Telephone+27 (0)21 794-5128

OvernightStay in Constantia Accommodation, Cape Town


Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.


If this is your attraction, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Constantia

Things to do in the area

Accommodation convenient to Groot Constantia

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Western Cape Accommodation / Cape Town Accommodation / Southern Suburbs Accommodation / Constantia Valley Accommodation / Constantia Accommodation

Constantia as a destination

Want to stay overnight?


When would you like to stay?
Choose dates

Number of Guests

Why book with SA-Venues.com
  • Your card is safe with us; strictest card verification in the industry and we don't store card numbers.
  • No airy fairy service fees; you save!
  • We care. Service with integrity.
  • Multiple payment methods:
    credit card, SID instant EFT, bank transfer.
  • All Constantia property owners / managers are verified (our experience protects you from online fraud).
  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com
South Africa. Explore. Experience. Stay

SA-Venues.com® has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.