Our Estate

Our estate was originally part of Simon van der Stel’s vast Constantia estate, granted in 1685. It then formed part of Groot Constantia until 1823, when the land was divided between the brothers Jacob Pieter and Johan Gerhard Cloete. The latter took ownership of the upper reaches, situated on the eastern slopes and foothills of the Constantiaberg, where there were already over 33,000 vines planted. He named this magnificent piece of land Klein Constantia.

A sense of place

Facing mostly south to east, and reaching up from 70 to 343 metres above sea level, our higher slopes are some of the coldest in the Cape, thanks to fewer sunlight hours and a constant breeze off the ocean, just 10 kilometres away.

Cooler temperatures result in an increase in concentration and flavour while preserving the acidity and pH of our white varieties, most especially Sauvignon Blanc. They also create the ideal growing conditions for Muscat de Frontignan, used to make our natural sweet dessert wine, Vin de Constance. As the berries are able to ripen fully before raisining begins, they are able to produce raisined fruit with remarkable intensity of flavour as well as natural acidity.

Our soils originate from granite formed up to 600 million years ago and can be divided mainly between deep fertile Oakleaf on the lower slopes and drier Glenrosa with a saprolite subsoil higher up. This well-drained, fertile, decomposed granite with high clay content ensures good water retention during the long, dry summers of the Cape, when enough water slowly drains back into the vineyards to ensure an effective leaf canopy and proper ripening of the fruit.

The unique location, climate and soils of our estate call for the making of terroir-driven wines, and it is to this principle that we are deeply committed. Simple winemaking techniques are used to extract the best from grapes grown in expertly nurtured vineyards to make consistently excellent wines that express elegance, minerality and balance.

Conservation

Klein Constantia is home to some of the most historic vineyards in South Africa – indeed the world – and we take our custodianship of this land very seriously.

We continually strive to produce wines in more environmentally responsible ways, adopting as many organic and biodynamic practice as possible.

In the modern era, no virgin soil has been ploughed at Klein Constantia, which boasts several pockets of tremendous conservation value, including a lush, 22-hectare forest known as Grootbos. Buffer zones for endemic fauna and flora have been left along the farm borders, contours and river courses, which have all been cleared of alien vegetation to maximise water runoff and encourage growth of endemic plants. These corridors also provide pathways for animals and insects, boosting the biodiversity of our 146-hectare estate.

Our vision is aligned with that of the World Wildlife Fund as we aim to unite conservation and agricultural development in a complementary, mutually beneficial manner. In recognition of our efforts to boost biodiversity, manage soil erosion, protect against fire, harness solar energy, reduce herbicide usage and embrace an integrated pest management programme, Klein Constantia has been recognised as a WWF Conservation Champion since 2011.

Preservation

When Johan Gerhard Cloete took ownership of Klein Constantia in 1823, it already had a basic farm building dating back to 1793 (the date inscribed on a large stone alongside it). He transformed this building into the U-shaped Cape Dutch homestead still standing today, complete with its classic narrow gable topped by a small triangular pediment (elegantly matching the simpler gable above the old wine cellar, which was built around the same time).

Nestled under giant oak trees, our homestead was already celebrated as one of the Cape’s architectural treasures a century ago, when the South African Woman’s Magazine concluded: ‘Much more insight might be written about this house; much might be said also about the estate itself, with its flower gardens, its vineries and wine cellars, and its swimming bath, but suffice it to say here that Klein Constantia is an incomparable domain richly stored with memories of the past, and it is in that spirit that it is occupied and preserved.’

A sense of place

Facing mostly south to east, and reaching up from 70 to 343 metres above sea level, our higher slopes are some of the coldest in the Cape, thanks to fewer sunlight hours and a constant breeze off the ocean, just 10 kilometres away.

Cooler temperatures result in an increase in concentration and flavour while preserving the acidity and pH of our white varieties, most especially Sauvignon Blanc. They also create the ideal growing conditions for Muscat de Frontignan, used to make our natural sweet dessert wine, Vin de Constance. As the berries are able to ripen fully before raisining begins, they are able to produce raisined fruit with remarkable intensity of flavour as well as natural acidity.

Our soils originate from granite formed up to 600 million years ago and can be divided mainly between deep fertile Oakleaf on the lower slopes and drier Glenrosa with a saprolite subsoil higher up. This well-drained, fertile, decomposed granite with high clay content ensures good water retention during the long, dry summers of the Cape, when enough water slowly drains back into the vineyards to ensure an effective leaf canopy and proper ripening of the fruit.

The unique location, climate and soils of our estate call for the making of terroir-driven wines, and it is to this principle that we are deeply committed. Simple winemaking techniques are used to extract the best from grapes grown in expertly nurtured vineyards to make consistently excellent wines that express elegance, minerality and balance.

Conservation

Klein Constantia is home to some of the most historic vineyards in South Africa – indeed the world – and we take our custodianship of this land very seriously.

We continually strive to produce wines in more environmentally responsible ways, adopting as many organic and biodynamic practice as possible.

In the modern era, no virgin soil has been ploughed at Klein Constantia, which boasts several pockets of tremendous conservation value, including a lush, 22-hectare forest known as Grootbos. Buffer zones for endemic fauna and flora have been left along the farm borders, contours and river courses, which have all been cleared of alien vegetation to maximise water runoff and encourage growth of endemic plants. These corridors also provide pathways for animals and insects, boosting the biodiversity of our 146-hectare estate.

Our vision is aligned with that of the World Wildlife Fund as we aim to unite conservation and agricultural development in a complementary, mutually beneficial manner. In recognition of our efforts to boost biodiversity, manage soil erosion, protect against fire, harness solar energy, reduce herbicide usage and embrace an integrated pest management programme, Klein Constantia has been recognised as a WWF Conservation Champion since 2011.

Preservation

When Johan Gerhard Cloete took ownership of Klein Constantia in 1823, it already had a basic farm building dating back to 1793 (the date inscribed on a large stone alongside it). He transformed this building into the U-shaped Cape Dutch homestead still standing today, complete with its classic narrow gable topped by a small triangular pediment (elegantly matching the simpler gable above the old wine cellar, which was built around the same time).

Nestled under giant oak trees, our homestead was already celebrated as one of the Cape’s architectural treasures a century ago, when the South African Woman’s Magazine concluded: ‘Much more insight might be written about this house; much might be said also about the estate itself, with its flower gardens, its vineries and wine cellars, and its swimming bath, but suffice it to say here that Klein Constantia is an incomparable domain richly stored with memories of the past, and it is in that spirit that it is occupied and preserved.’

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