off Steenberg Road (M42)
Constantia Valley, Westlake Cape Town | Map
Tasting hours: M-F 9-4h30, Sat 9-1h30
Tasting fee: None
Number of wines to taste: Eight
Special? Sparkling wine.
SA Blog recommends? Well worth the trip
Directions: From Cape Town, take either Eastern Boulevard or De Waal Drive south to the M3, then take the M3 south (toward Muizenberg), past Claremont, Wynberg and Constantia, to the Tokai turnoff. Turn right into Tokai (drive toward the mountains) and take it to Steenberg Road. Turn left, and follow the road until you see the estate’s entrance on your right (opp. the fortress-like US Consulate).
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With eight good wines to taste – including bubbly – and no tasting fee, Steenberg ranks as the bargain of the Constantia Valley. The staff are very friendly, the tasting room is small but cosy, and the grounds are quite pretty.
Steenberg is best-known for its whites, especially its Sauvignon Blanc, which you taste in at least two varieties. The area’s climate being very cool, the estate reds are quite soft – slightly disappointing for someone like me, who likes a bit of fight in his Cabs and Merlots – but the two Bordeaux blends offer more to grapple with than the straight varietals, and of these the mid-range bottle has a very decent price:quality ratio indeed.
Steenberg wines can be found in the US via the Wine Messenger website – and tipplers in the UK should look out for the estate’s unusual Nebbiolo red (not, alas, sold locally).
Verdict: two bottles of the mid-range Bordeaux (R46 each).