The Constantia Valley takes its name from the farm granted to Simon van der Stel in 1685 by Commissioner van Rheede. It is said that Governor van der Stel named his property after Constanza, the little daughter of his benefactor. We know the entire area now as Constantia. The Governor planted orchards and vineyards. A visitor to the Valley, Francois Valentyn reported "incomparably large and delicious fruit".
Later, Captain Cook’s botanist, Anders Sparman who was living at Alphen at the northern end of the Valley, said, "The genuine Constantia wine is undeniably very racy and delicate dessert wine and has something peculiarly agreeable in the flavour of it". He, like so many residents and visitors to the Valley across the centuries, climbed the mountain to the west. He described in his diary: "From this spot, however, I had an agreeable summer prospect towards the bottom of the mountain, viz. the verdant plains lying round about it, enlightened and warmed by the genial rays of the sun".
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