We then stopped in at Boulder’s beach to see the Penguins, skipped Cape Point (their entrance fee is a little steep), took the long way around to Kommetjie and headed up Chapmans for the beautiful drive.
We finished our trip with a wine tasting at Beau Constantia Wine Vineyards, at the top of Constantia Nek, before heading into town to check out the Madiba walk of remembrance and flowers on the Grand Parade.
Beau Constantia has the most spectacular, almost 270 degree, view from the Constantia Valley across to the Somerset West mountains and all the way around to False Bay, you really have to visit them to fully appreciate it. The farm is only 12 hectares, so you can see all the vineyards from the comfort of the tasting room as they stretch up to the top of the mountain.
They are a fairly new wine farm having only planted their first vineyards in 2003 after a fire burnt most of the fynbos on the mountain and they discovered rich soil beneath, perfect for vineyards. Their first vintage of their flagship Viognier was only released in 2010, so they are still young. The tasting room is stunning, glass all the way around so you can enjoy every little bit of scenery and a few small decks to sit outside on the couches too.
There are a few different tasting options, as well as pairings. We opted for the R50 tasting which includes all of their 6 wines, starting with the 2nd tier brand which is called Pas de Nom, which literally translated in French means “No Name”. These are the more easy drinking poolside wines. The Pas de Nom label is a pretty cool silhouette of Oom Japie, the bearded winemaker.
The Pas de Nom White is a Sav B, with a little Semillon & Viognier added in to soften it and make it an easy drinking, poolside, light and peachy wine.
The Pas de Nom Rose is made from Cab Franc, Merlot & Cab Sav but treated completely as a white wine in steel tanks and with limited oxygen exposure. It still has the fruit flavours with quite a dry, acidic finish which makes it very versatile in food pairings.
Lastly, the Pas de Nom Red is a blend of Cab Franc which brings your cherry flavours through, Merlot with its plum flavours and 66% Petit Verdot (which is unusual to have so much) adding the floral notes. It has spent some time in oak, although you can’t really tell. All of this range are very nice easy drinking wines, above average price, but still enjoyable.
The Beau Constantia Range are named after the wife, son and daughter of the farm’s owner. The Cecily Viognier, which has a 93 on that US rating system, is a Viognier and the estates flagship wine. They mention coriander on the nose, and you actually can pick it up. It is a little acidic, but smooth with lovely fruity, orange blossom and apricot flavours.
The Lucca 2011 is a Bordeaux style blend using only Merlot (which brings the dark fruit element) & Cab Franc (with its cedar and cigar flavours). It has the distinct gravel road-ish, earthy scents of a Cab, but with great fruit flavours on the palate. This was definitely our favourite of the day, not too heavy and can it still spend another 3 – 5 years in the bottle.
The Aidan 2011 is more of a contemporary version of a Bordeaux style blend, with no Cab Franc at all which makes it a lot less smokey. It has a slight mocha nose and delicious red berries on the palate. But the Lucca still won for us.
The wines are a little pricey, comparatively, perhaps because they are such a small boutique winery, or too close to the touristy vibes of Town & the Southern Suburbs. But very nice wines nonetheless and spectacular scenery which you absolutely have to go see! We had a lovely time.
How is your week going so far… hopefully unlike me, you are already on holiday and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery!
MOLENVLIET WINE GUEST ESTATE
Helshoogte Road, Stellenbosch
Tel: +27 21 885 1597
33° 54’47.63” S 18° 56’27.05” E
Tel: +27 21 794 8632
GPS Co-ords: S 34°0’ 48.57” | E 018° 24’ 21.67”