Thursday, November 25, 2010

Constantia Valley comes up trumps with Platter Five Stars - Seven Times

Constantia Valley comes up trumps with Platter Five Stars - Seven Times

25 November 2010 by Constantia Valley Wine Route

The Constantia Valley Wine Route has come up trumps after seven of the wines produced here in Cape Town's very own vineyard, received the coveted '5-star rating' in the 2011 Platter South African Wine Guide.

Chosen from over 6000 wines, these seven top Constantia Valley wines account for 12.5% of a total of 58 wines rated '5-stars' this year. Grown in this fertile pocket with its unique terroir that stretches across only 0.45% of South Africa's total wine hectares, it is a particular honour to have received what could be considered "the most sought after recognition in the South African wine industry".

Top scores were awarded across both red and white varietals grown and produced here in this fertile valley, including Napoleon's favourite dessert wine, Klein Constantia's Vin de Constance.

Family owned and run, Klein Constantia has a rich and colourful history, boasting a terroir that is ideal for producing grapes with ample fruit flavours. The legendary Vin de Constance has seen its renaissance here since 1986, where it has been crafted as a unique dessert wine made in the style of the old Constantia from vineyards which produced it in the 18th and 19th centuries, a century after its disappearance due to fungal disease and phylloxera, which caused devastation throughout Europe and the Cape. Klein Constantia took top honours on the Constantia Valley Wine Route with a total of three 2011 Platter 5 stars, for the Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2006, the Klein Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, and the Klein Constantia Perdeblokke 2009.

Following hot on its heels was Steenberg Vineyards, which has just won a major international award as Global Winner Wine Tourism Services in the Great Wine Capitals' Best of Wine Tourism Awards for 2011. Steenberg received two 5-star ratings for its signature Bordeaux style white blends, John Loubser's CWG entry for 2010, the Steenberg Magus 2009, and Steenberg Magna Carta 2009, which will be released in the first quarter of 2011. Another wine to be watched in this stable is the Steenberg 1682 Pinot Noir Brut, which achieved 4½ stars this year, completing the full range of wines produced here from fruit harvested in the cool maritime climate of Constantia - from bubbles through to dessert!

Since the establishment of Groot Constantia by Simon van der Stel in 1685, this iconic farm has continued an age old tradition of quality wine production over the past 325 years. Recognised as one of the world's oldest trademarks, Groot Constantia received the Platter nod too, scoring 5-stars with the Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Chardonnay 2009, a wine that has been its top performer in SA and abroad in the last decade, showing good balance of ripe fruit and citrus with rich butter and hints of oak.

Eagles' Nest, one of the new stars in the Constantia Valley, walked away proudly with 5-stars awarded to its Eagles' Nest Shiraz 2008. It is said that wines from Eagles' Nest are purely terroir driven: elegant, refined and poised. A remarkable year for this Shiraz, the wine also won the Red Wine Trophy in both the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show and the Winemakers' Choice Awards in 2010, with its wonderful spiciness complemented by vibrant dark berry-fruit notes, and a palate of perfectly integrated tannins, with a complex, lingering finish.

Commenting on the excellent performance by members of the Constantia Valley Wine Route, Chairman Jean Naudé, also the CEO of Groot Constantia Estate, says: "When Simon van der Stel had the opportunity to choose land for his farm, the whole of the Western Cape was available. After sending people out on horseback to collect soil samples, in 1685 he decided on the area that is currently known as Constantia. Judging from the recent Platter ratings, he was a man with vision and an excellent ability to identify winemaking potential!"

"To have five stars awarded for Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, White Bordeaux blends and Muscat de Frontignan, shows the diversity of the area and puts Constantia firmly on a pedestal as a showpiece for South African wine in general. The fact that there are operational wine farms in the heart of the Mother City speaks of a conservation miracle. It is of the utmost importance to preserve this magnificent piece of heritage of the South African Wine Industry, to further enhance the image thereof," he concluded.

The eight Constantia Valley wine producers are: Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, Steenberg Vineyards, Eagles' Nest, Buitenverwachting, Constantia Uitsig, Constantia Glen and High Constantia.

For more information about the Constantia Valley Wine Route, visit