WINE TRAVEL: Exploring Constantia, South Africa

Constantia is the oldest wine producing region in the southern hemisphere with an uninterrupted history of winemaking since 1685. It’s located in the southern suburbs of Cape Town in the Western Cape of South Africa, where Constantia’s estates stretch from low ground all the way up the south-eastern sides of the Constantiaberg mountain. Both the shade of the mountain and the constant sea breezes contribute to lower average temperatures on the slopes, helping the grapes to retain their fresh acidity. 

Constantia sits on top of ancient deposits of decomposed granite. These soils are well drained and fertile and have a high clay content. Water absorbed by the clay during wet winters helps to keep the vines hydrated over the dry summers.

In the 18th and 19th Centuries, the area was famed for its legendary dessert wine Vin de Constance (the naturally sweet made from Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains). Nowadays, Constantia is known for premium cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc and Bordeaux Blend wines, along with the modern dessert wines made from Muscat Blanc

To discover one of the best South African Sauvignon Blanc wines, we suggest you 2017 Metis Pascal Jolivet Sauvignon Blanc by Klein Constantia – one of South Africa’s most famous wine producers. The estate was once part of a larger estate called Constantia, established in 1685. In 1817, the estate was broken up into Groot (big) and Klein (small) Constantia.

2017 Metis Pascal Jolivet Sauvignon Blanc are made from hand-harvested grapes. The wine underwent a long, cool fermentation and was left to mature on its fine lees for 12 months in stainless steel tanks. Bright and lively in colour with lemongrass and flinty aromas on the nose. Full bodied with great acidity, a multi dimensional wine that is rich with intense umani and mineral flavours, with a long elegant and refreshing finish.

Food pairing: shellfish, vegetarian dishes, goat cheese

Critic scores: JS 93, RP 91, WS 90

Amsterdam, March 2nd 2020