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Winelands

DISCOVER QUALITY WINES IN A MAGNIFICENT VALLEY

The Hemel en Aarde Valley (Heaven and Earth Valley) is a spectacularly beautiful place on earth, and is the home of the country's top Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The proximity to the sea is the major advantage for vineyards in the valley and this happy marriage has also produced cellars with the most heavenly views.

Try it and wander up the valley to discover ...

Winelands

The valley behind Hermanus is easily capable to compete with the well known Winelands around Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek and has not to hide its scenic beauty and outstanding award winning cellars.

There are several wineries to visit which are staggered along the slopes of the mountains. Depending on your specific interest you can choose from established, new, cultivar specific or award winning.

Only to name some options to visit: Ataraxia, Bouchard Finlayson, Creation, Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Hemelzicht, Hermanuspietersfontein, La Vierge, Mount Babylon, Newton Johnson/Cape Bay, Pearly Gates, Southern Right, Spookfontein, Sumaridge and Whalehaven/Idiom.

Start or end at Sandbaai with the Wine Village, the biggest collection of South African wines under one roof in the country.

Winelands Entrance to the valley

is at the traffic light just at Sandbaai where the R43 to Hermanus and R320 to Caledon meet. At this intersection is the Hemel en Aarde Wine Village. Here you will find 600 producers and 1.600 labels of quality wine. The village stocks the very best the valley has to offer and wine experts are on hand to give professional advice regarding the various types of wine.

Near the village is Whalehaven - a boutique winery that specialises in traditional fine wines. Their flagship Pinot Noir and Viognier-Chardonnay have already received considerable acclaim. They are also the producers of the prestige IDIOM label.

The tasting room is open Mondays to Fridays from 09:30 to 17:00 and on Saturdays and public holidays from 10:30 to 16:30.

Leaving the village, turn onto the R320 towards Caledon. Just a few kilometres into the valley, you will find an acclaimed winery, Hamilton Russell. This wine estate has two award-winning wines - a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which were among only 17 wines out of more than 5.000 awarded 5 stars in the 2005 John Platter Guide.

The cellar has a wonderful picnic site. Pack a basket with delicious goodies and spend a warm, lazy summer afternoon with your family or you could spoil that special person in your life, while sampling some of Hamilton Russell's wine.

Near Hamilton Russell you will find Bouchard Finlayson. The tasting room at this prestigious winery is adjacent to the wine cellar and exudes old world charm. They have seven wines to offer, including a Pinot Noir and Galpin Peak. The Pinot Noir has a woody character, which makes it unique in comparison to other South African Pinot Noirs.

The Bouchard Finlayson tasting room is open on weekdays from 09:00 to 17:00 and on Saturdays from 09:30 to 12: 30.

As you travel further into the valley, you will come across Sumaridge Wine Estate. The beautiful stone cellar and restaurant has a scenic view of a dam and the valley. Sumaridge Wine Estate, a boutique winery, has seven wines to offer. The cellar has won several prizes and is especially renowned for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Their wines have a savoury forest character and minerality, which comes from the prox-imity of the ocean and unique composition of the soil.

The Sumaridge Wine Estate tasting room is open seven days a week from 10:00 to 15:00 and has a restaurant where you can enjoy a light meal.

Further on the road to Caledon you will find Newton Johnson Wines, a family owned and managed cellar. Here you can taste wines like Chardonnay, Felicité, Syrah Mourvédre, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The tasting room is open on weekdays from 09:00 to 16:30 and on Saturdays from 10:00 to 14:00. They have a restaurant where you can rest and relax.