Klein Constantia has excited Wine Lovers for more than 300 Years
The winery Klein Constantia is one of the most mysterious wineries worldwide. It offers perfect, relatively cool climate conditions for wines of the highest quality with its location on the foot of the impressive Table Mountain. Excellent terroirs and careful cultivation give the grapes wonderful aromas and the winemakers of the estate Klein Constantia reveal the full potential of these delicious wines. In its history, Klein Constantia gained fame early on as the legendary Vin de Constance was famous well far beyond the borders of South Africa. After difficult times, it is now the best South African dessert wine of all times with 5 Stars by John Platter and 95 Parker Points. The declared aim of the winemakers and owners of Klein Constantia is to continue the 300-year-old success story of the winery with much passion and enthusiasm and to excite gourmets worldwide with unique wines.
The Vin de Constance
With the famous Vin de Constance, the winery Constantia made grand personalities, poets and gourmets from the 18th and 19th century swoon worldwide and it became truly widespread. Napoleon Bonaparte and Frederick the Great swore by this noble dessert wine and also the English Crown could not resist the high quality South African. The Vin de Constance found its way into the works of many authors. In 1811, it was the comforter for a broken heart in ‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austen. The myth surrounding this excellent delicacy is still present today: as soon as one of the rare bottles from back then is discovered in a cellar of one of the great European collectors, some connoisseurs give everything to try this wine that is sometimes 210 years old. Even after two centuries, the phenomenal Vin de Constance features fresh acidity and exquisite aromas.
An End with a new Beginning
Whenever gourmets talk about the grand time of the Constantia wines and especially about the indescribable Vin de Constance, they over and over again ask the question how it was possible that this legend came to an end. In the 19th century, South Africa was not immune to the phylloxera that affected almost all wine cultivation areas and brought the wine production worldwide to a standstill. Serious fungal diseases occurred prior to this severe loss and in Constantia, wine production basically completely stopped. The Constantia wines would have almost been lost, but a stroke of fate let the old business partners Duggie Jooste and Ian Austin meet at the airport of South Africa in 1980.
Ian Austin was the current owner of the winery Klein Constantia which degenerated more and more after the great crisis. He now desperately tried to sell the land. Duggie Jooste on his side could not believe his luck when he saw the mainly fallow fields that offered almost perfect conditions for the cultivation of premium vines. He made the daring decision to bring the best wine that had ever been created on the southern hemisphere back to the world. After long research and elaborate search of the right vines, the family Jooste could harvest the first grapes for the new Vin de Constance in 1986. After its four-year maturation time it was filled into old-fashioned bottles that were reminiscent of its origin. It came onto the market and was met with excited national as well as international feedback. The trademark of Klein Constantia finally captured the palates of all wine lovers again!