Imagine yourself sitting in a glasshouse in the middle of rolling hills, a patchwork quilt of autumn-hued vineyards as far as the eye can see, with a backdrop of brooding mountains clad with tendrils of fog. A glass of fine Constantia wine in hand, a flame-flickering fire just far enough away to be comfortable and an array of winter warming soups laid out on the table. Sound good?
Look no further than the small wine estate of Constantia Glen, situated on the road that winds over Constantia Nek on the way to Hout Bay. A steep paved drive leads up through the vineyards, passing the gates of the homestead and private residences of the family-owned estate. You will be forgiven for feeling a twinge of envy if you are not one of the fortunates who already live with magnificent views, and can be assured of receiving a warm welcome on arrival, almost as though you are the lord or lady of the manor returning from lands afar.
Now that you are settled in the place of your choosing, you can expect a thorough and eloquently presented journey through the history of the estate, the wines that are produced there and an answer to most questions you may have relating to the industry. The wine tasting takes place at your table and there is no need to disturb your comfortable state once you are ready for the meal. The wines, many of them award winning, are all made from grapes on the estate, and the embossed bottles are an identifying feature confirming that the wine is made solely from Constantia grapes – a titbit of interesting information.
Arrive early – you will get undivided attention before the lunchtime crowd arrives, and it is well-patronised! Although informed that our stay should be limited to three hours, a strange proviso which I doubt applies in these days of non-tourism, we were in no way hurried and remained until we were suitably wined and dined and ready for a lounge on the couch at home.
Rating by the 4 guests: Wine: 7, 5, 5, 7 (would benefit from food pairing); Food: 6, 6, 6, 7; Service: 9, 8, 8, 7 (dishes cleared too quickly); Return visit: 10, 10, 10, 10.