Tag Archive | Simon van der Stel

Groot Constantia And Jonkershuis

No trip to Cape Town is complete without a visit to Groot Constantia.  It is a dramatically beautiful wine farm seeped in history.

Groot Constantia was established in 1685 by Simon van der Stel.   Although it was a wine farm it also produced vegetables and fruit.  When Van der Stel died, the estate was broken up into Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia and Bergvliet.

There is no certainty on how Constantia got it’s name but I like the theory from Hymen Picard (writer).  He believed that the farm was named after a woman with whom Simon van der Stel had fallen in love on the voyage to the Cape.  She was the daughter of the commander of the fleet with which Van der Stel travelled.

Avenue Of Trees

The estate is lush and shady, punctuated by lovely buildings.   We enjoyed a wine tasting and, of course, could not leave without sending a case of wine to Pietermaritzburg.  Thank goodness we did,  the rich heritage of the farm comes out in the wine, helping me to relive my visit time and time again.

The Manor House

And, of course, the estate boasts a superb restaurant.  Jonkershuis makes the best Bobotie I have ever tasted – it is accompanied by almond flavoured yellow rice and delicate sambals.  Each time I have been lucky enough to visit Groot Constantia, I am lured into Jonkershuis by the promise of their Bobotie and I have never been disappointed.  It is consistently exquisite.


Yes, without a doubt, Groot Constantia is a national treasure.