7 May is International Sauvignon Blanc day, and what better what to show you’re serious about Sauvignon Blanc than enjoying a glass from the Constantia Wine Route.
7 May is International Sauvignon Blanc Day and for a country that consumes over 24 million litres of Sauvignon Blanc each year, it’s no doubt the date is clearly marked in everyone’s calendar. As one of the country’s oldest wine regions, Constantia has captured the imagination of wine-lovers across the world. Established in 1685, it’s no wonder the wine-growing region has all but mastered the art making of Sauvignon Blanc.
But what is it about this cool, fresh and green beauty spot – just 15 minutes from Cape Town – that ensures it produces such a seriously distinctive Sauvignon Blanc? Alongside history, the region’s location – on the foothills of Table Mountain – gives it a unique microclimate and gives the grapes from the region a premium expression.
Top VinPro viticulturist Etienne Terblanche explains Constantia’s microclimate as an optimal combination of soil, wine and sun. “Constantia is a unique ward on the Cape Peninsula, because it has an Oceanic or Atlantic influenced climate rather than classical ‘Mediterranean’ climate. First, the coastal winds provide cloud cover, humidity and cooling. Second, the slopes of the vineyards are generally east-facing so they get beautiful morning sun, and lastly, the region is well known for its predominantly granite-based soils for vineyards planted so close to the ocean – it’s something relatively uncommon in South Africa.”
The Constantia Valley also provides a sheltered amphitheatre for the vineyards. This means the fruit can ripen to its fullest – even on cooler days, it still has a warmer climate.
Originally established as one of the original Cape farms, the wine route is now divided into just nine, premium estates – Beau Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Constantia Glen, Constantia Royale, Eagles Nest, Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, Silvermist and Steenberg. Collectively, the farms have over 421 hectares of vine, of which 180 hectares are planted to Sauvignon Blanc.
“Our winemakers produce wines that can age well, show elegance over time and respect the fruit’s true sense of place,” says Carryn Wiltshire of the Constantia Wine Route. “Look for the official Constantia region stamp on each bottle – it’s a sure sign of a serious Sauvignon Blanc, and the ultimate mark of quality and premium wines.”
In celebration of International Sauvignon Blanc Day, the nine farms who form part of the Constantia Wine Route will be offering a tasting of their vintage wines. From 6-8 May visitors will have the opportunity taste a current and older Sauvignon Blanc vintage at each estate.
For more information on where to sip Sauvignon Blanc, eat, stay and play in the Constantia Wine Route visit www.constantiawineroute.com.