Cycling the Constantia Valley Winelands
Another perfect summer’s day dawned. With the sun rising over False Bay, I loaded my bike onto the car to take a 10 minute drive to meet my friends in Constantia Valley.
We decided at 7 am to cycle through the wine farms. Out first call was at Groot Constantia (Great Constantia). Beautiful and of historical interest, the farm is introduced in the Our Heritage section of the website as follows: “The story of Groot Constantia, the finest surviving example of Cape Dutch architecture and one of South Africa’s foremost historical monuments and tourist attractions, dates back to 1685.” It is interesting to read the story, but even better to see the real thing! It is high in the valley and we enjoyed the mountain and the views of False Bay. The long avenue of oak trees from this beautiful house was the last part of the ride on this oldest estate.
Along a cycle path and quiet roads we went to Klein Constantia (Little Constantia). This farm was originally part of the greater Constantia wine farm granted to Simon Van Der Stel. A subsequent owner, Hendrik Cloete, divided the farm between two of his sons, creating Klein Constantia. Again wonderful views over the vineyards. The road into the estate is lined with flowering agapanthus. In a paddock there were pure white cattle grazing.
Close by we found Buitenverwachting (Beyond Expectation), yet another split-off from the original Constantia. It is lovely to picnic here in the werf (barnyard) under huge oak trees.
We had a spectacular two-hour ride, only 10 minutes’ drive from Kalk Bay.