A foothold in Constantia
Constantia in the Western Cape has been a magnet for discerning buyers for years. Lea Jacobs reviews an estate that has recently come on to the market in this world-famous area
AS ONE of the first wineproducing areas in the country, Constantia, in Cape Town, with its beautiful architecture and outstanding scenery, is one of the most soughtafter parts of the country. Popular with tourists and homeowners alike, the area offers some of SA’s most historic, outstanding properties situated in a region famed for its beauty.
Established by the governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel, the wines that the area produced received world acclaim, forever putting SA on the wine connoisseur’s map. The area has always held a certain appeal; so much so that Robert Percival, an English officer, stated way back in 1796, “every stranger who arrives in the Cape makes a point of visiting the village of Constantia and those famous wine plantations; for these with the Table Mountain are looked upon as the great and first objects of curiosity at the Cape”.
Not much has changed over the years and the area continues to draw tourists on a grand scale. In addition to its own wine route with century-old estates, the area now has a number of fine restaurants, upmarket accommodation as well as art galleries, antique dealers and chic fashion boutiques.
Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank, says the properties that were part of or next to the original Groot Constantia estate, where the land was granted to Van der Stel in 1685, are still the historic heart of the valley and the major wine estates, namely Groot Constantia, Alphen, Coleyn, Constantia Uitsig, Klein Constantia and Buitenvervachting, remain intact. This, she says, has ensured that the valley has retained its charm and character to the benefit of the older homes, which overlook or are close to vineyards.
The area is ideal for those looking to have the convenience of city life, without the hustle and bustle that living in these areas brings. Upmarket living, of course, comes at a price and Stewart says that with price tags hovering around the R6m mark, the area is often regarded as “high net-worth individuals’ territory”.
A property, for those wishing to become part of Constantia’s landed gentry, has become available through Anne Porter Knight Frank who has been given a sole mandate to market a modern Cape Dutch home that borders onto the historic Chart Farm in Constantia. Priced at R10,95m, the property is zoned agricultural and features outstanding views of both the Constantia and Tokai mountains as well as the valley’s famous vineyards.
The estate, which once formed part of the well-known Chart Farm’s stables and wagon sheds, dates back to the early 1800s. However, Anne Porter Knight Frank agent Carol Bracken says renovations and conversions carried out over the years has resulted in a home that now has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, five reception and living rooms, a study, and three garages.
Bracken says that the north side of the home sports two of the Cape’s most beautiful “hol-en-bol” gables. In addition, the home’s windows all have vertical sliding sash teak frames with external wooden shutters. Japanese maple and Oregon pine have been used on the floors and the home features several fireplaces. The kitchen is spacious with an eat-in breakfast table.
“The roof is fully tiled but its gables are not repeated on the south side. This has a long, wide veranda and fronts onto a wellestablished garden which also has large pool, a vegetable garden, pony paddocks and stables. A staff cottage is also situated in the grounds.” Price: R10,95m Contact: Anne Porter Knight Frank Carol Bracken 021 671 9120