Klein Constantia, Cape Town.
Established in 1685, this beautiful Wine Estate is situated on the slopes of the Silvermine mountain range just below Donkerboskloof.
Now I've been to Groot Constantia Wine Estate a few times but never to Klein Constantia. That all changed when I got invited recently to the Winter Menu launch of the new Bistro @ Klein Constantia. But before I run ahead of myself upon arrival at the estate I immediately knew I was in for something special. Having a great love for nature, the drive up to this estate leads one through winding roads of trees and vineyards on either sides. It makes one forget fairly quickly that theres is a bustling city a mere 20 minutes away. Once on the estate the magnificent scenic views just continue.
The drive up to the Bistro @ Klein Constantia takes one through a row of trees, pass the vineyards boasting in their autumn colors before dipping down into the most beautiful section. A paddock with horses grazing in the distance, overhead trees in stunning autumn colors, I havent even arrived at the Bistro yet and Im all ready blown away by the views.
Driving on from the paddock the road leads one up a winding row of trees. Nestled in between the Jacaranda trees The Bistro is situated just next to the state of the new state of the art Wine Cellar. Impressive as all that is, the deck with the overhanging jacaranda trees and pleasant welcoming by staff was definitely a favorite.
My afternoon at The Bistro was spent in great company with loads of laughter as everyone introduced themselves. We were served a chilled Klein Constantia Mentic - Sauvignon Blanc which might I say was light and smooth on the pallet. A perfect choice for a warm autumn afternoon get together with friends new and old.
Quoting Klein Constantia: "Harvest 2018 is a fond memory and there’s a chill in the air, but the welcome is warmer than ever at The Bistro @ Klein Constantia, where we are running a wonderful lunchtime special this winter: two courses for R220 or three courses for R290 (including wine or cordial).
*Focusing on fresh, seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, our cordon bleu chef Graham Davies has already showcased the best of summer as well as autumn fare since our bistro opened alongside our elegantly removed tasting room in January. He now has number of comforting winter dishes up his sleeve, all intended for pairing with a selection of our award-winning wines (including some superb older and rarer vintages when applicable). Although Graham’s menu changes frequently, in keeping with his ‘farm to table & head to toe’ philosophy, certain items have become firm-favourite fixtures, such as his country pork terrine and his linefish. Also extremely popular is his specially curated platter of local cheeses, perfectly matched with our Vin de Constance dessert wine, for which a R40 surcharge applies.
At The Bistro @ Klein Constantia, the intention is to offer a unique wine and food experience, showcasing both the incredible fresh produce and rich culinary history of South Africa, with Graham finding his inspiration in the attention to detail and strong artisanal culture of Europe. ‘The secret is to focus on locally sourced ingredients and allow them to speak for themselves,’ he says.
MORE ABOUT OUR CHEF: Graham Davies grew up in East London but his passion for food brought him to Cape Town, where he studied at the Silwood School of Cookery. He graduated with an internationally recognised Grande Diplome in 2010, having completed an internship at La Colombe while it was still headed up by renowned chef Luke Dale-Rob- erts, under whose guidance he continued to work. Looking to gain international experience, and to explore his passion for French and Italian cuisine in particular, Graham then travelled overseas, working as a private chef on boats and in private villas. Upon his return to South Africa, he continued to private chef, and his excellent reputation eventually secured him the position of head chef at the Klein Constantia Manor House."
My lunch selections consisted of the Beef carpaccio with rocket & parmesan for starters and the Fillet Beef with fondant potato & cafe au lait. At first bit the flavors of the carpaccio was a bit overwhelming but having paired it with the fresh cold baked bread it came to it own. Just delicious! Next up was the Fillet, and wow incredible! The pepper sauce, potato and fillet overflows with great flavors in your mouth. I especially enjoyed it with the smooth Klein Constantia Estate Red.
After lunch we headed down into to new Wine Celar for a private tour by wine maker Matt and was pleasantly surprised with a table laid out in the basement. There a cheese platter the award winning Vin De Constance was awaiting our tastebuds. This pairing was definitely the highlight… hmm no wait maybe the Beef Fillet was. I can’t decide I guess Ill have to go back again.
What a pleasant afternoon, an incredible experience indeed. Before we all headed out into our various directions we explored the gift shop where I got some goodies for my wife. They have it all from clothing to cutlery. Be sure to stop and browse on your way out the Bistro.
I am sure to return soon and enjoy lunch with my wife and friends. Likewise, you will not be disappointed with a visit to THE BISTRO @ KLEIN CONSTANTIA
All Images © Heinrich Knoetze Photography