The Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate, cold wet winters and warm dry summers. These are ideal conditions for wine farming but as there are no grapes indigenous to South Africa, Jan van Riebeeck imported the first vines from Europe soon after his arrival. In 1659 he produced the first wine. In 1685, the then Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel established the Constantia estate on the Cape peninsula in a valley facing False Bay . His 'Vin de Constance' soon acquired a good reputation. But it was Hendrik Cloete, who bought the homestead in 1778 who really made the name of Constantia famous. Today the Constantia Wine Route consists of five estates, all of which continue to produce excellent wines. And located as they are in the heart of the developed southern peninsula suburbs, these working farms are now fully fledged tourist attractions.