The Constantia Valley, South Africa’s premier wine growing region, epitomizes the subtle flavours born from the mystic inter-relationship between earth and climate. The boutique wine cellar, High Constantia, is nestled in the heart of this lush, green valley. The origins of High Constantia can be traced back to 1693 when the farm was part of the Dutch East India Company outpost and was known as Wittebomen, because of the abundance of Silverleaf trees on the land.
A section of this land, bordering on Groot Constantia to the north, was granted to William Duckett, the British Agricultural Adviser in 1806. Jacob van Reenen, son of Sebastiaan Valentijn van Reenen Snr and the original mastermind of the wine-farming venture on High Constantia, purchased the farm in 1813. It was transferred to Jacob’s younger brother, Sebastiaan Valentijn Jnr in 1821. Sebastiaan’s High Constantia wine quickly established an excellent reputation and commanded good prices in England.
During the 1800’s High Constantia was a popular stopover en route from Simonstown to Cape Town as attested by the numerous entries in three visitors’ books preserved in the Cape Town Archives detailing even the wine purchased! In those days the property comprised three main buildings set amongst lavish gardens, lawns and trees. One of these trees which were a great oak near the cellar in which was constructed a platform where family and friends took their ease.
Today, on a small corner of the original land, David van Niekerk uses his passion and expertise to restore High Constantia to its former winemaking glory from the newly planted vineyards. High Constantia’s gracious past is echoed with renewed vigour in the variety of elegant wines once again produced by this historical estate.