One of the Most Mystical Vineyards in the World.
Vin de Constance produced at Klein Constantia is now celebrated amongst the top ten wines in the world, awarded by Wine Spectator, 2015 ranking issued this month.
Wine Spectator, like most other major wine publications, rates wine on a 100-point scale. The magazine's policy also states that editors review wines in blind tasting.
It is the first time of the history that a South African wine is entering the top 10.
Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance, a dessert wine, is one of South Africa’s historic labels; its history stretches back 300 years.
On the 146 hectare of the wine estate, is standing the homestead, in the typical Cap Dutch style of Architecture. The building is under Heritage protection as being considered as part of the national treasure. (There is only a few listed buildings in South Africa.)
Thébaïde has the privilege to be in charge of the interior design of the homestead who has been going under a major renovation for 3 years and that would be fully completed in 02.16.
For the little history, you should know that Simon Van der Stel, the first governor of the Cape, established his vast property in Constantia in 1685 and started to produce wine soon after.
It is in 1711, upon the death of Van der Stel, Constantia was divided into thirds and sold Constantia was split again in 1817, between the new owner (Cloete’s) two sons. The younger brother, at 22 years old received Klein (Little) Constantia. He built the Klein Constantia Manor in the Cape Dutch style and finished it in 1823. The main house, Groot Constantia, is today a National museum.
The history of Klein Constantia Manor house is a fascinating story where you find love, passion, social politics.
My favourite part is when the property was bought and updated in the 1920/1930 by the glamorous couple, Clara& Abraham de Villiers, and played host to some of the most extravagant and beautiful parties that Cape Town ever saw.
The history of the vineyard is also very intense. The wine was one of the most famous among European Aristocracy in the 18 century and remained an elastic wine among the 19 century.
Many have been celebrating the virtues of the Vin de Constance, among who: Jane Austen featuring the wine as a remedy for colicky gout (Sense and Sensibility); Charles Dickens wrote of it too in his unfinished novel (The Mystery of Edwin Drood); Charles Baudelaire, Opium and the night, compares in his poem the pleasure of drinking the Vin de Constance to the pleasure of his lower’s lips on him.
After the glory the estate had to face major problems with the grapes and had to wait 1986 that Duggie Jooste, revive the farm to its form winemaking glory
Although Vin de Constance is a sweet wine, Klein Constantia also produces a range of wines from various grapes including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Thébaïde is very honoured to be a part of a project with so much history.
Another page of this history is being written today, still, with the vineyard and winery going on a major modernisation process.