A Grand Taste and Heritage
Grand Constance is a wine celebrated in history and literature, and Groot Constantia, one of the premier wine estates in South Africa, is honoured to have its tribute to this wine so well-awarded.
Before his death in 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte enjoyed Grand Constance as his standard tipple while in exile. It is recorded that King Louis Philippe of France was, too, a regular drinker of the vintage. The British Royal family, as well as Frederic the Great of Prussia, have also all appreciated the famous sweet wine of Constantia. Charles Dickens celebrated it in Edwin Drood, Jane Austen’s character recommended it as a cure for a broken heart in Sense and Sensibility, and Charles Baudelaire compared Constantia wine to the lips of his lover in his most famous volume of poems, Les Fleurs du Mal.
Groot Constantia, the oldest wine farm in South Africa boasting with over 300 years of winemaking, undertook the incredible task of recreating the famous Grand Constance.
Under the guidance of award-winning winemaker, Boela Gerber, a formula was created that would recreate a wine very similar to the Grand Constance from 200 years ago, with a few adjustments to appeal to more modern tastes. Gerber took a leap of faith by using a blend of red and white Muscat de Frontignan grapes from the block right next to the Groot Constantia Manor House.
Once the contents were on track, it came time to create the bottle in which the wine would be presented, which had to be as historically accurate as possible.
A five year journey to recreate a suitable bottle for the revitalised Grand Constance wine started with a bottle seal stamped with the words “Constantia Wyn”. After scouring the Internet, Gerber discovered an intact bottle of the old Grand Constance with the same seal in Paris, and from images, a bottle was created.
The “new” Grand Constance has not let its ancestor down and continues to rake in the awards, having achieved the highest possible honour at the 2016 Decanter Asia Wine Awards where the wine received Platinum for being the Best South African Sweet Wine. It achieved a rare 98 points out of a possible 100, and was classed as “exceptional” in what is the leading wine competition in Asia.
The wines of Groot Constantia, which are hand-crafted in small volumes, in general continue to be award winners, with the estate having won over 100 top accolades in the past 10 years alone.
Enjoy a tribute to wine history by savouring a glass of Grand Constance.
For more information, please visit www.grootconstantia.co.za or connect with Groot Constantia via social media on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @Grootconstantia.