The name of the district in the Western Cape where this wine is produced; originally the name of a farm granted to Simon van der Stel in 1685.
In full Constantia wine:Any of several sweet, heavy dessert wines produced on one of the wine estates in the Constantia valley; any similar Cape dessert wine.See also Cape wine. Also attributive.
[1772J.R. Forstertr. ofL.A. De Bougainville’s Voy. around World 464The district of Constantia..produces the famous wine of that name. This vineyard..is distinguished into High and Little Constantia...The wine which is made there is nearly alike in quality, though each of the two Constantia’s has its partisans.]
1862Lady Duff-Gordon inF. GaltonVacation Tourists (1864) III. 151The sweet Constantia is also very good indeed; not the expensive sort, which is made from grapes half dried, and is a liqueur, but a light, sweet, straw-coloured wine, which even I liked.
1880E.F. SandemanEight Months in Ox-Waggon 14The wine known by the name of Constantia is too sweet and strong for anything but a liqueur and in that capacity, it is very pleasant to the taste.
1897‘F. Macnab’On Veldt & Farm 158Even in this country persons may be living who remember the old Constantia — a pipe of which it was customary to ship every year for the use of our Sovereign.
1926P.W. LaidlerTavern of Ocean 170Sheridan, drinking Constantia wine at dinner in London, tried to cause the production of more bottles, so much did he enjoy it.
c1936S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 304A bottle of Constantia, 125 years old, was opened in 1925 and found to be in perfect condition.
1968D.J. OppermanSpirit of Vine 292Constantia might very well at a later stage, have come to mean any dessert wine from the Cape.
1980Daily Dispatch 10 Mar. 7A half bottle of Constantia white dating back to 1791 was bought for R2 500.
1988D. Hughes et al.Complete Bk of S. Afr. Wine 351761/2 The first notable exports of red and white Constantia wine take place 1778 Groot Constantia is acquired by the Cloete family. The following decades see the sweet Constantia wine winning acclaim throughout Europe.
1990J. Platter inSunday Times 16 Dec. 21The glories of Cape Constantia sipped — or more probably glugged, such was its appeal.
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