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Constantia Glen

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Average User Rating: full star full star full star full star full star
Number of User Ratings: 1
Region: Constantia
Size: Small
Open to visitors: Yes
Constantia Glen Corporate Identity

Constantia Glen

PO Box 780,
Constantia, Western Cape, 7848
South Africa
+27 21 7956100

Open On:
Start DateEnd DateSunMonTueWedThuFriSat
Jan 1 Dec 31 Closed 9:00AM-4:00PM 9:00AM-4:00PM 9:00AM-4:00PM 9:00AM-4:00PM 9:00AM-4:00PM Closed
*By Appointment Only

Closed On:
Start DateEnd DateReason
Jan 1 Dec 31 All public holidays.

Types of wine: Red Blends, White Sauvignon Blanc
Website: http://www.constantiaglen.com
Email: karl@constantiaglen.com
Proprietor: Tumado Investments

Description:

Looking out across Constantia Glen’s vineyards in the magnificent Constantia Valley, one immediately senses a difference. Cultivated with dedication and a singular vision, Constantia Glen’s 31site-specific blocks are unique in the Constantia Valley. Each block is meticulously hedged, carefully thinned of superfluous shoots and limited to allow only one perfect bunch of grapes per shoot. There is a high regard for precision in the way the vines are established, cared for and harvested that saturates each unique vintage with constant class and a distinctive reference to the preceding year’s climatic influence.

Skilful winemaking has its origins in the vineyard. At Constantia Glen, time-honoured techniques are respected and used wherever they perform best. That said, we welcome new and innovative approaches and employ them with great benefit to precise areas within the winegrowing process. Constantia Glen uses the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) process, which captures both visible and infrared light emitted from vineyards to create a colour index describing variances between cultivated sections. This enables us to identify areas of uniformity within our vineyard plots and therefore areas of comparable ripeness.

Before the onset of harvest we allow for at least 4 phenolic ripeness assays. This permits us to track the physiological ripening of each individual plot and the eventual determination of ripeness acts as a point of departure for tasting. Here we couple known parameters of colour, tannin, sugar and acid accumulation with the desired flavour profile. We harvest if consensus is reached.

The grapes are hand-sorted at four points before reaching the stainless steel fermenting tanks. Hand-harvesting sees the first selection of the very best grapes. After 12 hours in a cooling cube the grapes are bunch sorted before being destemmed using custom-made equipment dedicated to whole berry work. A vibrating sorting table allows for leaf and other material to be identified and removed where after meticulous berry sorting is performed on an illuminated conveyor. Here imperfect grapes are discarded. Only conveyor belts are used to move the berries through this sorting process into the stainless steel fermenting tanks that provide a cool and gentle beginning to the fermentation process.

Constantia Glen makes only three distinctive wines. Because of this each tank can be dedicated to a single lot of grapes. The generous number of tanks at our disposal means that each tank is used only once during harvest. At Constantia Glen we do not believe in rushing the art of winemaking. A long, cool prefermentation maceration allows for the gentle extraction of colour and aroma. Once satisfied with the extraction our winemaker gently warms the tank and initiates spontaneous fermentation, using naturally occurring yeasts. A long, warm and temperature controlled fermentation draws out the structure and balance that we require for inclusion in our fine wines.

When it comes to extraction methods, Constantia Glen employs a careful combination of pump-overs, punch-downs and délestage (rack and return) to ensure a wine that is deep in colour, fruit that is alive and tannins that are soft and persistent. Upon completion of fermentation we retain the wine together with the skins for a further 8 days for added complexity and structural development before the free-run wine flows to our lower-level cellar and into new French oak barrels. All this makes for a wine that is ready for the market early but isn’t compromised in terms of quality or ageing potential.

In a further measured step, the skins are pressed in our state-of-the-art computerised basket press. As is the case with our free-run wine, the press wine is barrel aged, later providing a component that our winemaker may blend in for structure and persistence.

All wine transfer activities after fermentation are carried out in our hoist tank that allows for gravity assisted conveyance. This ensures a gentle handling of the sensitive wine.

Once the wine is safely in barrel, the topping, racking and fining processes begin. Our winemaker constantly monitors the development of each barrel and evaluates the need for racking and fining. The wine ages from 14 to 19 months in new French Oak before it is bottled.