Situated in the picturesque Constantia wine valley Groot Constantia has a whole lot going for it including a beautiful estate, hundreds of years of history, wonderful food and of course the most incredible range of wines. However, what makes the estate really special is the unique experience it offers for its visitors and one of these is their chocolate and wine pairing.
The Groot Constantia wine range boasts an exquisite array of wines that pay tribute to the amazing terroir and climate that the estate finds itself in. Each wine contains notes that make it fit extremely well into its category and stand out at the same time. Despite their uniqueness each wine has a common characteristic, that of being a fantastic and easy wine to drink while at the same time hiding interesting and complicated tasting notes within its bottle.
These interesting and underlying characteristics have been unlocked by Groot Constantia with the help of a team of chocolatiers who came together to collaborate on creating not only a sweet way to taste wine, but also a way in which some of their wines with more complicated notes could be tasted and understood. Each wine has been delicately paired with a chocolate and the expertly trained staff at Groot Constantia guide you through the tasting. Groot Constantia has 6 options from which they select a daily 5 flavour pairing option, depending on stock availability.
The tasting starts with the Groot Constantia Sauvignon Blanc paired with a Tropical Guava White Chocolate. Usually white milk chocolates do not go particularly well with wines, but the creaminess of this particular chocolate highlights the ripe tropical fruit flavours – particularly guava that is very evident in the Sauvignon Blanc – complementing it perfectly. This perfect summer taste sensation is fresh, zesty and very fruity, ending off with a smooth but crisp and dry taste.
Staying with the white wines, the tasting moves onto the Groot Constantia Chardonnay. This is one of our favourite Groot Constantia wines with its incredible citrus flavours and a hint of lemon/lime on the nose. Again, a milk chocolate is used to highlight the elegance and complexity of this wine, pairing it with a White Lime and Apricot Chocolate. The zesty lime flavours of the chocolate highlight the lemon and lime properties of the Chardonnay on the nose while vanilla and butterscotch notes on the palate pair perfectly with the creaminess of the apricot in the chocolate. This tasting is both complex and balanced highlighting the incredible layers that exist in the Chardonnay.
Moving onto the red wines, an obvious starting point is the Groot Constantia Pinotage. A wine that is revered not only because it is the only one in the Constantia Valley but also because it is an award-winning wine. This wine bursts with ripe red fruit on both the nose and the palate and is perfectly complemented by the Blackberry Milk Chocolate which adds an entirely new layer of indulgence and ripeness. The chocolate also does an excellent job of highlighting the oak flavours that exist in the wine while at the same time bringing out its expressiveness and fruity flavours. This is one pairing you may want to linger on for a while.
The second red wine is the Constantia Rood, an elegant blend of Cab Frank, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage, Petit Verdot and Pinot Noir creating an incredible wine with a bouquet of flavours ranging from chocolate to blackcurrant. The chocolate pairing for this is a Cherry Blossom Chocolate which does a surprisingly great job at bringing out all these wonderful flavours while complementing the velvety nature of the wine.
The third red wine is the Groot Constantia Shiraz, a decadent blend of fresh fruit and wonderful spices paired perfectly with a Secret Spices and Vanilla Chocolate. The Vanilla and spices in the chocolate immediately highlight the fruity taste of the wine while each unique spice comes out with every sip. The cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves hidden in the chocolate are brought to life through the wine which reveals peppery notes at the end which lingers with elegance and style on your palate.
The wine tasting ends on an extremely high note with Groot Constantia’s flagship wine, the Gouverneurs Reserve paired with a Morello Cherry Tobacco Dark Chocolate. The intensity of the chocolate pairs perfectly with the subtle notes that become apparent as you work your way through this tasting. Each flavour in the chocolate brings out a corresponding flavour in the wine starting with intense cherry and ripe fruit flavours and ending off with the subtle taste of tobacco as this exceptional wine lingers on your palate ending off the tasting on an exceptional note.
The Groot Constantia Wine and Chocolate tasting is a truly unique experience that should be on every Cape Town summer bucket list as an experience that is not to be missed. Not only is it unique in its presentation but does a wonderful job in educating and highlighting characteristics of our favourite wines that we so often miss.
What to expect
The Groot Constantia Chocolate and Wine Pairing consists of 5 chocolates and wines and is served at Groot Constantia’s 3 tastingrooms.
Cost: R140 per person – when it is bought as part of the new Groot Constantia Visitor Route Experience: Buy an all-inclusive Visitor Route Experience ticket in the Manor House and get to do a wine tasting in the original buildings, do a full museum tour in the Cloete Cellar and Manor House and enjoy a cellar tour. Cost R95 and includes the Spiegalau Crystal wine glass
Or pay R120 per person – when bought as a single experience (only Chocolate & Wine Pairing)
No need to book.
A full slab of Chocolate can be bought from the Groot Constantia Tasterooms: R55 per slab
New Visitor Route Experience:
Enjoy the new Visitor Route Experience where one ticket gives you entrance into the Manor House museum, original Cloete Cellar, a cellar tour, wine tasting and Spiegalau Crystal wine glass. Groot Constantia is open 7 days a week (except Christmas Day and Good Friday) and offer wine tastings, chocolate and wine pairings and has two restaurants on site: Jonkershuis Restaurant and Simon’s Restaurant. Buy your wine on the estate, request an order online and from top wine houses and purveyors internationally.
A Visitor Route Experience Ticket: R95 per person
For more information visit www.grootconstantia.co.za