MS Topic of the Week 3/24/20 - Advanced

Smokey Rauchbier last post from , and . Well done gents!

This week: Vin de Constance

Tell us a story! Where is it from? How is made? What grapes compose it?

  • Soon after the Dutch settled in South Africa in the 17th century, the area's first governor, Simon van der Stel, planted a vineyard on his large estate on the Cape, called Constantia. The sweet wine produced there was known as "governor's wine" or "Constantia" and was internationally famous throughout the 18th and 19th centuries -- sought after by kings, drank by Napoleon, written about by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. The original Constantia estate was established in 1685, and when van der Stel died in 1712, it was divided into three parts: Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, and Bergvliet.

    Today Constantia is a ward on the peninsula of the Cape Town district. Since 1986, Klein Constantia has produced a Vin de Constance in the historic style. It is an unfortified sweet wine made of Muscat de Frontignan (Muscat Blanc a Petit Grains). The grapes are dried on the vines to concentrate sugars and sweetness, and the final wine is a blend of base wine with the wine from raisinated grapes.

  • Worth noting, the gap leading up to 86 was because of phyloxera.

    Constantia is a super easy little jaunt from Cape Town proper, and as such, it's a big tourist destination for folks visiting. 

  • check out this clip on Youtube from Klein Constantia on Vin De Constantia: