Ask anyone you meet what they know about Cape Town, and you’re likely to hear “wine” among the first few responses. Cape Town is rightly famous for its wine production, with a viticultural history dating back to the 1650s. Cape Town’s Mediterranean climate, with its rainy winters and long, dry summers, provides the perfect growing conditions for grapes. Of course, the history wasn’t always as glamorous as the rolling valleys, modern tasting rooms, and charming manor houses we see today.
Book a wine tour with City Sightseeing to explore the historic Constantia Wine Route.
In the early 1650s, Cape Town was established as a refreshment station along the Spice Route between Europe and Asia, and the first vines were planted by the Dutch governor, Jan van Riebeeck. Old Jan didn’t know the first thing about notes of gooseberry or tannins or oak. All he knew was that the wine would prevent scurvy for those starving, sickly sailors rounding the Cape. Or, he thought he knew that. Unfortunatel..