In Their Words
Beau Constantia History & Location
Beau Constantia is a boutique and contemporary wine farm situated at the top of beautiful Constantia Nek, 25 minutes from the centre of Cape Town.
After devastating fires destroyed the fynbos and pine forests on the property in 2000, the slopes were cleared and terraced, thereby exposing great potential for the planting of vineyards. Our vines are planted to an elevation of 350 metres above sea level on some of the steepest agricultural slopes in the Cape. These lovingly nurtured vines are spoilt with panoramic views of the Stellenbosch and Helderberg Mountain ranges and over False Bay.
The farm includes an indoor and outdoor wine tasting area, plus the award-winning Chef’s Warehouse Constantia restaurant. Situated at the top of the Constantia Valley, you will enjoy one of the best views in Cape Town!
Beau Constantia Operating Hours
Wine Tasting: open Tue to Sun 11am-5pm. Last tasting 1 hour prior, pre-booking recommended.
Chef’s Warehouse: open Tue to Sun for lunch 12pm-2.30pm & Tue to Sat for dinner, seatings 5pm-7pm.
Note: all times are subject to change. We recommend checking latest opening hours directly with the farm and pre-booking experiences wherever possible, to avoid disappointment.
Beau Constantia Wine Tasting
Development of vineyards on the steep slopes took a lot of patience and effort, but today the farm prides itself with just over 11 hectares under vine. The cultivated varieties include Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Shiraz and Petit Verdot.
Wine tasting is offered either in the ‘Glass Box’ wine bar area, or adjacent outside, under the trees or on the lower slopes of the farm. Guests will enjoy wonderful views of the Constantia Valley and cheese/meat platters are available to pair.
Wine Tasting Prices
The farm’s Pas de Nom Tasting includes a mix of 3 pre-set wine varietals and costs R85pp. The premium Beau Constantia tasting costs R160pp and includes 4 of the farm’s red and white estate wines. Alternatively, you can choose a mixed tasting of the two, for R130pp.
Wine can also be served by the glass or bottle – and cheese and/or meat platters cost from R300 for 2.
Beau Constantia Restaurants
The award-winning Chef’s Warehouse like to keep things fresh and fun for both patrons and chefs, so feature a seasonal and produce-driven menu that changes regularly, with the signature experience being their globally-inspired tapas for 2.
Guests have the option to eat in the main dining area which boasts wonderful vineyard views and cosy fireplaces, or you can book the Chef’s Table next to the open kitchen or Glass Wine Tasting Box (dinner only).
Menus & Pricing
Menus are available on request, however past offerings have included Chargrilled Tuna with Brown Butter, Asian-Inspired Linefish, Mushroom Risotto with Goats Cheese Mousse and Lamb Belly with Black Garlic. Prices start at around R450pp for their Tapas for 2.
Beau Constantia Tours & Activities
Currently Beau Constantia do not offer cellar or farm tours, however are popular for private events. Contact the estate for any group enquiries and they may be able to assist.
** Images courtesy of Claire Gunn & Visit Winelands **
When Lucy Visited
A contemporary ‘wine and gastronomy jewel’ in Constantia’s crown, I’ve visited Beau Constantia many times over the years and highly rate it. However due to its boutique size and excellent reputation, do book ahead or be clever with the times you visit for wine tasting, as it can get very busy.
So what makes Beau Constantia stand out?
The views, for a start! More on that later but firstly, it’s worth explaining that this boutique and architecturally distinctive wine farm is all about quality over quantity – and this shines through in everything they present, from their wine and food ranges to their high levels of personalised service.
Secondly you can’t mention Beau Constantia without also referencing the award-winning Chef’s Warehouse restaurant on site, underneath the tasting room. Liam Tomlin is the culinary mastermind behind the Chef’s Warehouse chain of fine dining restaurants around Cape Town, and the fact that he chose Beau Constantia as the location for his only southern suburbs eatery is a testament to its beautiful setting and shared outlook on quality.
The Dining Experience at Beau Constantia
Even if you don’t dine at the tapas-style Chef’s Warehouse restaurant, you can still sample a taste of the quality on offer by ordering one of Beau Constantia’s beautiful charcuterie or cheese platters (which come from the restaurant), if you’re wine tasting.
But if you are thinking of eating at the restaurant, do it! Chef’s Warehouse is innovative and playful and they consistently deliver on quality, service and here at Beau Constantia, lovely views. Whilst R900 for 2 can never be considered ‘cheap’, you’re taken on a sensational flavour journey by some of South Africa’s top chefs – I promise it will be a meal you’ll remember for a long time. I don’t want to spoil the rest by giving too much away!
What About The Rest Of The Farm?
Beau Constantia is located close to Constantia Nek, which nestles against the forested hillside of Table Mountain National Park, around a 25 min drive from Cape Town. I would strongly suggest either catching a taxi here (due to limited parking) or using the red City Sightseeing Constantia Route bus, as it stops nearby: www.citysightseeing.co.za/en/cape-town/constantia-wine-valley-bus
The farm has a small footprint and is also built on a slope, which has both advantages and challenges. Certainly it may pose some difficulties if you have mobility issues (or huge heels for that matter… not that this fact stops the glamourati of Cape Town, from what I’ve seen!) however they do have wheelchair access, so let them know in advance if you need assistance.
The main advantage of their sloped location is that from both the elevated tasting room (known as the ‘Glass Box’) and the Chef’s Warehouse restaurant, you are rewarded with superb views down into the Constantia Valley, which blooms spectacularly – particularly in the summer months.
Whilst the restaurant is an average size, features a fantastic open kitchen and can host small or large groups, the Glass Box tasting room is quite small. With around 6 tables in total, it’s ideal for couples and small groups (note – there are no fireplaces in the tasting room, only in the restaurant). The Glass Box does offer some of the best views in the house however one thing to note, with all that glass, it can get quite noisy – especially if it’s full. Visiting during the week or earlier in the day will save your ear drums a little.
Outside, they have 2 or 3 small tables on one side of the Glass Box and around 10 tables on the other, the latter partly under tree cover. Views outside are more restricted depending on where you’re sitting and it can get windy and shady in the late afternoon, so come prepared with layers if you’re visiting at this time of day.
One important point to note: for wine tasting, Beau Constantia only take bookings for a max of 12 people in total across the farm at any one time. I would book as far ahead as possible, as if you walk in there may not be space – especially true on weekends or if it’s raining.
On the lower section of the farm they also have an outside ‘lapa’ – comfy sofas which are used mostly in summer for groups, with a recent addition of a small bar. This is a spacious spot surrounded by greenery but note the view down into the valley is obscured. You can however move and sit on the sloping terraced lawns in front (if dry) and you get the full 180 degree panorama.
What sort of people come here? Firstly I don’t think I have ever seen a child here. It is very adult-orientated and more upscale, so whilst you get a mix of grown ups, I’d say the wine tasting crowd is often younger and a bit more dressy than the restaurant crowd. Saying that, I’ve never felt out of place and I find it smart, not pretentious.
What About The Wine Tasting?
The first couple of times I visited the farm I sampled their 4 glass Pas du Nom ‘entry level’ wine tasting flight for R100 (which was nice enough) – however this last time I totally splurged and paid R160 for 4 of their premium Estate wines. This is the most I’ve ever spent on a wine tasting but my goodness – all four were exceptional!
Named after family members, all the tastings were white and red blends of various kinds including Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Merlot and Shiraz (amongst others), all served one by one and explained with care by the wine host. They were all so incredibly smooth and oozing luxurious flavours and robust character. I also then tried their Pas du Nom Rose, which was sublime. I was so impressed and the charcuterie and cheese platter finished off a perfect afternoon.
A small, lively and architecturally unique estate well suited to couples or small adult groups looking for quality boutique wine and beautiful food, with fabulous views from the ‘Glass Box’ and restaurant. I wouldn’t recommend this farm for children. For wine tasting, definitely try and pre-book if you can due to limited seating and if funds allow, treat yourself to a memorable contemporary meal at Chef’s Warehouse.
Wine tasting in the Glass Box usually always finishes at 5pm, so unfortunately you mostly miss the gorgeous sunsets – however on the last Saturday of the month they usually extend the closing time until 7.30pm or so. Pre-book a slot! Alternatively, you can request the Glass Box for your Chef’s Warehouse early dinner reservation.