Photographer's Note

Groot Constantia, Cape Town

Was established in 1685 by the VOC Governor of the Cape of Good Hope Simon van der Stel, and was used to produce wine as well as other fruit and vegetables and cattle farming.
Following Van der Stel's death in 1712 the estate was broken up and sold in three parts.

In 1778 the portion of the estate surrounding Van der Stel's Cape Dutch-style manor house was sold to the Cloete family, who planted extensive vineyards and extended and improved the mansion by commissioning the architect Thibault. The house remained in the possession of the Cloete family until 1885, during which period the estate became famous for its production of Constantia dessert wine.

In 1885 Groot Constantia was purchased by the government of the Cape of Good Hope and was used as an experimental wine and agricultural estate.
Following a disastrous fire in 1925 the house was extensively restored.

In 1969 the manor house became part of the South African Cultural History Museum, and in 1993 the estate passed into the ownership of the Groot Constantia Trust.
The exhibition in the house is managed by Museums of Cape Town, and is particularly focused on rural slavery and the life of slaves during the early Cape colonial period.

Groot Constantia is noted particularly for its production of high-quality red wines, including Shiraz, Merlot and blended red Gouverneurs Reserve.
In 2003 the estate began production of a Constantia dessert wine, called Grand Constance, for the first time since the 1880s.

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Additional Photos by Alex Fan Moniz (LondonBoy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 83 W: 0 N: 330] (1812)
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