The Constantia Valley is closest to Cape Town and stretches from Wynberg Hill in the north to the Silvermine mountains (the Tokai area) in the south. The Constantia Valley, with its moderate climate and rich, fertile soil, boasts some of the oldest wine estates and homesteads in South Africa, along with many award-winning wines. This is the area that Simon van der Stel, first Governor of the Cape, chose to cultivate and develop in 1685. Over the years, these have been divided into smaller areas, each of which have since forged their own unique heritage and wines. While sweet white wines gave the area its initial appeal, Constantia is also renowned for dry whites and reds. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir now thrive in the valley.