The Story of Klein Constantia begins in 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck arrived at the Cape as the Dutch East India Company’s first Commander there. His first official duty was to build a fort, but he and chief gardener Hendrik Book also planted the first vines in the Company Gardens.
By 1685, the 10th Commander of the Cape, Simon Van Der Stel, had identified the valley facing False Bay as having the most potential. With its decomposed and well-sheltered granite soil, he claimed it as his own and named it Constantia.
The history from there is one of fame and fortune all over the world. Constantia wine attracted fans such as Prussian Emperor Frederick the Great, Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon Bonaparte. It also captured the hearts of many great poets and writers appearing in the works of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.
Today, after many ups and downs, Klein Constantia (after the division of estate into Groot and Klein) are still making stunning and award winning wines.