- BY Bearded Wiseman
A Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate development application to extend the commercial nature of the business it conducts is being opposed by the Constantia Property Owners Association (CPOA). Why? Because 30 new residential houses and 12 new hotel rooms being built will result in, like moretraffic. And like, effect the environment and, like, its World Heritage Site chances.
No doubt the valley is a beautiful place and it should be protected as far as possible. I mean, these farms are the closest when a little wine tasting roadtrip becomes necessary.
But the thing is, underneath the negative wafty comments, (some of which are detailed in the CPOAs newsletter outlining the objections against the expansion), remains the fact that the farm is actually looking to complete the first successful land reform project in the valley.
It’s quite fitting in fact seeing as Constantia Uitsig was also the first farm to export table grapes to London in 1896. Also fitting is that Simon van der Stel, son of a freed Indian slave mother, had a great influence on the commercial nature of the valley back in the day.
“If approved, the Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate would be developed to include 30 single residential houses, and see its hotel expanded from 16 to 28 bedrooms.
The plan includes a new winery, relocation of the stables and workshop, and a new house for the farm manager.
The intention is for workers on the estate to become owners and shareholders in what is hoped will be the first successful land reform project in the Constantia Valley.”
CPOA is claiming that Uitsig is merely using the above mentioned stake as a cover up for their sinister plans to expand. It also claims that as is, the farm with its surrounding neighbouring farms, constitute “the criteria for inclusion in the cluster nomination for inscription on the World Heritage List.”
Lawrie Mackintosh, chairman of the Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, like me, disagrees. He said that there wasn’t really anything of heritage and that the cluster of farms was by no means unique. He also said that “everything is on track for now.”
SaleWine would like to point out that Bloemendal and Uitsig are owned by Mr Sexswale and it only makes sense that there will be property development on both farms – how else will there be a net return.