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

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

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

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