Sadly it is almost the end of the summer, and therefore also nearly the end of the hanepoot table grape season here in Constantia. These heavenly grapes were brought to the Cape hundreds of years ago and it is thought that they are the "spaanse Driuven" referred to by Jan van Riebeeck in the mid 1600s. It is an old variety of grape having been cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, hence the name Muscat d'Alexandrie. They are known all over South Africa as "hanepoots" which literally means "hens feet" in Afrikaans - from the shape of the leaf it seems.
A slightly different muscat, Muscat de Frontignac or Muscadel, is used in the making of the famous Vin de Constance, mentioned in the novels of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.
2 years ago