Yes, I know it’s been on my doorstep for over 20 years, (well, since 1682, but I only moved back to Cape Town in 1992!) but the truth is that whenever I’ve looked to spending an afternoon lazying in the sun or want to go winetasting or need to stock up our ailing supplies from a cellar door, I’ve usually chosen to head out to the winelands of Stellenbosch or Franschhoek.
Nothing wrong with that – they are magnificently beautiful, and a few hours exploring one of these areas transports me to another world, BUT the beauty is that I’ve actually got all those options right here just 5 minutes from my house… Who knew!!
Yes I’ve been to Jonkerhuis at Groot Constantia for lunch under the oaks and the coffee shop on Buitenverwachting is one of my best, but I’ve never actually gone winetasting, or even bought wine, from one of my local wineries.
That has all changed since my invite to explore a few of the hidden gems of this historical wine route…
Bright and breezy one morning I found myself disappearing down a tree-lined drive only to discover the most beautiful wine tasting space in the valley… hidden away from the public was a beautiful secret garden, complete with weeping willows, luscious lawns and a trickling stream.
Eagles Nest is the definition of a boutique winery, with an intimate tasting room and a personal approach.
After our first wine tasting of the day… the Little Eagle Rose… it was time to take a trek up the mountain on a 4×4 for a wine safari experience to see the vineyards (some of the steepest in South Africa) up close for ourselves… and of course THE VIEW.
Planted predominantly to Shiraz, Merlot and Viognier, these grape varieties are best suited to the unique terroir of the farm. And it works, the Eagles Nest Shiraz is one of the best in the world and has won numerous awards!
After taking in the glorious green vistas and delicately detailed fynbos, the weather changed, sending us scuttling indoors…. We did a brief tour of the cellar, where the labelling machine and packing team were all hard at work.
Then it was time for an exclusive wine tasting with the wine maker from Eagles Nest, who told us more about how each vineyard block is picked at optimal ripeness and vinified separately, allowing him to choose the right sort of barrels for each block of vines so their individual characters and nuances are reflected.
I loved getting to know this wine farm on my first visit, definitely not my last, in fact I’ve been back already!
Wine Tasting and Sales
Mondays-Sundays from 10:00am – 16:30pm.
Wine tastings cost R50 per person
Old Constantia Main Road, Constantia
GPS Co-ordinates: S34deg 0’54.2″ E018deg 24’54.3″
Phone: +27 21 794 4095
Images: Kathryn Rossiter