Just over an hours drive from Cape Town, lies the coa
- Hemel-en-Aarde Valley,
- Upper Hemel-en Aarde Valley
- Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge
They are categorised as such due to the vast differences in the types of Terroir. These regions are appreciated for their cool, Meditteranean climate which is influenced by the cool breezes of the ocean.
I have been wine tasting in the various Hemel en Aarde wine wards before, visiting farms such as Ataraxia, La Vierge and Hermanuspietersfontein during the Winter months. And so I was extremely excited to visit more wine farms in this region during the summer months, this time with Jared in CPT and Audaciously Sels.
Domaine Des Dieux
My first stop was bubbly of course, the home of highly acclaimed Claudia MCC. I met up with Sharon, Founder of Domaine Des Dieux meaning ‘Place of the Gods’, which they purchased in the early 2000s.
Sharon and her family are from Durban and so moving to the Western Cape was a well thought out move. What was once a sheep farm, slowly stated transforming into vineyards that grew Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They also have small pockets of Sangiovese and Mouvedre.
Choose six wines for R50. They also have an amazing cheese platter for R190. The tasting room is very small however has the advantage of magnificent views! They will be adding more seating soon as well as offering picnic spots on the lawn.
It has got to be said that you simply HAVE to taste the Rose of Sharon MCC and the highly awarded Claudia MCC when you visit. You may also be surprised to taste an aged Sauvignon Blanc which is extremely moreish! Enjoy all of this whilst sitting comfortably on soft seating, overlooking the magnificent views of the valley.
Domaine des Dieux is situated just next door to Ataraxia and Creation wines along the Hemel-en-Aarde wine route and is well signposted.
How lucky was I to meet up with Peter Finlayson of Bouchard Finalyson and complete a harvest. He is pretty much the founder of the entire wine region and is incredibly well respected in the wine industry.
I was also privileged to meet up with winemaker, Chris, who took us on a cellar tour. It is an extremely busy time at the moment due to harvest and so we all got stuck in to help pick some Chardonnay grapes.
The farm produced their first vintage from the estate in 1993 and today is one of the most awarded wineries for Pinot Noir in South Africa. They also have some really great Chardonnay and as you can see below, quite a range!
The tasting room actually smells like fermenting wine (for those that enjoy wine, it is heavenly) because it is interleading into the barrel room and cellar. There is also a more private tasting area overlooking a fireplace which I can imagine will be lovely in the winter!
Wine tasting is just R30 for three wines or R70 for six wines. They also have some platters available and you can pre-book a nature walk with a local expert.
Bouchard Finlayson is situated just next door to Newton Johnson along the Hemel-en-Aarde wine route and is well signposted.
Contact: Telephone: (+27) 28 312 3515 | Fax: (+27) 28 312 2317 | Email: email@example.com
Undoubtedly a wine farm which ticks all my boxes. Great wine, food, views and service!
I was so fortunate to be able to taste the newly released “Harvest Story of Creation” a 5-course food and wine pairing menu which actually includes 8 wines!
The pairing costs R570 and they are sure to ask about dietary requirements be it vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian. There is also an extensive list of different pairings ranging from brunch (R500pp), Chocolate (R130pp), cheese/charcuterie pairing (R80), vegan platter (R210), non-alcoholic pairing (R565) and even a kiddies menu.
I absolutely love their connection to art too. In the garden and tasting room, you will spot sculptures designed by various artists who exhibit here. I also absolutely love the fact that the food is served on hand-made ceramics and the wine is served out of Riedel glasses.
Contact: tel: +27 28 212 1107 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What other wineries can you visit?
The best advice I can give you is just to drive and explore down the main Hemel-en-Aarde wine valley road! Be sure to visit the “chapel on the hill” Ataraxia wines, or the Saturday market at Hermanuspietersfontein. If you’re in the mood for something different, try La Vierge and enjoy a marvellous meal whilst watching the sunset.
What about Accommodation?
The Hayloft, Hemel-en-Aarde Farm
The Hayloft is owned by Doug and Jo who offer a two-story, 5 sleeper,
This unit comes at a great price of only R899 per night and can be booked direct or through Air B&B.
Contact: tel: 082 898 3354 | email: email@example.com
It’s always a wonderful time to visit the wineries in the Walker Bay wine region of Hemel-en-Aarde. I would highly recommend the times from Feb-April (high summer), July (winter and whale season), November & December (cooler summer).