Hermanus Wine Route/Craft Beer/Gin
The Walker Bay Wine District’s most important road, the Hemel-enAarde R320, winds its way through South Africa’s premium cool climate wine region. Not only does it offer visitors to the area the opportunity to experience world-renowned Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but also some of our country’s best Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, as well as innovative blends.
The R320 Wine Route unites the passion and reputation of many wineries, each producing small volumes of uncompromising premium quality wines. With vineyards deriving maximum benefit from the high elevation and cool sea breezes, this region has become well known for its unique terroir and maritime climate, which continues to result in countless local and international accolades and awards for its wines.
Carefully and sustainable managed vineyards, the unspoiled natural beauty of the mountains, ocean and blue skies of Walker Bay, guarantee visitors an unforgettable and memorable experience.
You will be warmly welcomed at the tasting venues on the various wine estates along this route, with each of them offering one or more of the following – wine tastings, platters, meals, nature walks and cellar tours.
The wine route is reached by way of the Sandbaai traffic lights, where the R43 to Hermanus and the R320 to Caledon intersect. Turning towards Caledon, you can look forward to a smooth ride – the gravel road is a thing of the past and the whole route has now been tarred.
At the entrance to the wine route is The Village, where you will find the first two wineries, as well as the Wine Village. This iconic wine shop is owned by Paul and Cathy du Toit, who have built up one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of South African wine over the past 19 years. Together with their friendly and knowledgeable staff, the Du Toits will assist you in finding the right wines to suit your taste and pocket. They also offer daily tastings and can deliver to your door worldwide. The Wine Village is open 7 days a week, Monday to Friday from 09:00 – 18:00, Saturday from 09:00 – 17:00 and Sunday from 10:00 – 15:00. Call 028 316 3988 or email email@example.com
Whalehaven was named after the protective bay that shelters breeding Southern Right whales in the cool Cape winter months. Their wines are made with grapes from the Bottega family farm, Da Capa Vineyards in Somerset West, and vineyards in Hemel-en-Aarde. At their Wine Experience Centre in The Village they offer interesting pairings – try the artisan chocolate pairing or the jam pairing for something different. This season, Whalehaven is also offering an exclusive tasting experience by pairing three vintages of their Conservation Coast Chardonnay and Conservation Coast Pinot with three canapés each. Booking is required on 028 316 1633.
Your arrival to the world of Hermanus wines is marked by Benguela Cove – a leading producer and wine destination at the start of the Hermanus Wine Route. Discover and enjoy the award-winning wines from quality vineyards – uniquely situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Join us at our Tasting Room and choose from delectable cheese, chocolate or millionaires shortbread wine tastings or sit back and savour a sensational fine dining experience at the Benguela Cove Restaurant. Contact 083 645 6198 for wine tastings or 087 357 0637 for bookings at the restaurant. Visit www.benguelacove.co.za for more on our luxurious wine estate.
Hermanuspietersfontein, also at The Village a little further down the road, is best known for its remarkable Sauvignon Blancs, Bordeaux and Rhone-style blends, and its iconic Afrikaans wine names. The cellar’s Wine & Food Market every Saturday morning from 09:00 – 14:00 comfortably seats up to 400 guests and is a popular meeting place among the locals. During the holiday season they also host an evening market and events. To book, contact 028 316 1875. Hermanuspietersfontein is open for tasting and sales Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00 and Saturday from 09:00 – 16:00. Saturday Market 09:00-14:00.
Southern Right produces a popular Sauvignon Blanc and Pinotage with labels depicting the Southern Right whale. A portion of the proceeds of the sales of these wines goes to the conservation of their namesake. The cellar is currently closed to the public. Call 028 312 1318.
Bartho Eksteen Wines is situated opposite the entrance to Southern Right. Widely known as ‘Monsieur Sauvignon blanc’, Bartho and his family focus on wine training and education, wine production, tastings and sales. Their signature range includes wooded and unwooded Sauvignon blanc, different styles of Methode Cap Classique and a ShirazMourvèdre-GrenacheViognier blend. Maná Fresh is a restaurant and deli that prepares picnic baskets to be enjoyed on the farm with the characteristic Eksteen hospitality. Make a booking on 028 312 4612.
Hamilton Russell Vineyards receives credit for planting the first vines in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in 1975. The famed estate specialises in producing two acclaimed wines – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their elegant and highly individual wines are world-renowned and can be tasted on the stoep of their charming tasting room overlooking a dam. Open for wine tasting and sales. Call 028 312 1791.
Bouchard Finlayson’s flagship wine is the Galpin Peak Pinot Noir, for which winemaker Chris Albrecht has won many awards. Repeated vintages of this path-blazing wine continue to reflect a true celebration of Pinot-crafting. Other varieties include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, a popular white blend called Blanc de Mer and hearty reds. Charcuterie and cheese platters are available for a nibble between tastings or after a hike on the fynbos trails. There are three route options and energetic holiday hikers can choose between a guided or self-guided walk but be sure to pre-book. The tasting room is open Monday to Sunday. Call 028 312 3515.
La Vierge specialises in producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from their grapes that are grown in Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. Their range also includes Bordeaux and Rhône style blends, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. The B’stro Restaurant offers breath-taking views – ideal for a romantic sundowner and a game of boule. Call 028 313 0130 to make your booking. The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Sunday.
Hasher Family Vineyards is currently not open to the public as they have recently taken over the Sumaridge Wines property. The wines are available at Wine & Co and Ficks Pool in Hermanus. Wine Village stocks the Hasher Sauvignon Blanc called The Fat Lady. Call 028 008 5107.
At Newton Johnson Vineyards, brothers Bevan and Gordon have taken the family cellar to new heights in exploring the nuances of their vineyards. The tasting room above the cellar is situated on the mountain slope with spectacular views of the valley and ocean beyond. Be sure to taste their acclaimed Pinot Noir and other award-winning wines crafted by husband-and-wife winemaking team, Gordon and Nadia Newton Johnson. The Restaurant at Newton Johnson offers and lunches from Wednesday and also a breakfast from Thursday to Sunday. Call 028 312 3862.
Restless River has some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay vineyards in Hemel-en-Aarde. Owners Craig and Anne Wessels hand craft site expressive wines from vineyards farmed as naturally as possible to develop depth and complexity. Their highly acclaimed wines have their own distinctive personality and character, shaped each year by the conditions of that vintage. For a private tasting on the farm, contact 028 313 2881.
Spookfontein enjoys a beautiful setting with some of the best views in the area. The attractive restaurant adjacent to the winery recently opened under the new ownership of Vaughan van Blerk and Francois Barnard of Harbour Rock. The Spookfontein Restaurant is open for lunch and wine tasting Tuesday to Sunday. Call 028 125 0128 to make a booking.
Storm Wines is situated on the Spookfontein property and Hannes can be contacted on 082 325 4517 for a private tasting by appointment in the intimate barrel cellar. Further up the R320 is the final stretch of the Hermanus Wine Route – the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. This is home to Ataraxia, Creation and Domaine des Dieux.
Ataraxia is a boutique wine estate producing a range of hand-crafted wines that include Sauvignon blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and a red blend. Their Wine Lounge® is situated in a small chapel at the foot of the majestic Babylonstoring and affords spectacular views. It houses a permanent art exhibition and has an old bell at the entrance which visitors ring to announce their arrival.
Call 028 212 2007.
Hemelrand is not open to the public. This is where Chris Alheit makes Alheit Family Wines.
Creation offers informative vineyard and cellar tours, relaxed wine tasting and innovative food and wine pairings. The dynamic owners, Jean-Claude and Carolyn Martin are producing an impressive portfolio of wines that include Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Semillon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah Grenache. Creation has won multiple awards including the KLINK Yin and Yang Award for Best Food and Wine Pairing at the Cellar Door and the Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Award for Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences. Creation’s latest award sets them aside as the Best Vineyards Experience in Africa by the World’s Best Vineyards. The tasting room is open 7 days a week, Book by calling 028 212 1107.
The last wine farm on the Ridge, right next to Creation, is Domaine des Dieux. They produce a small range of award-winning wines that are vinified with the same fundamentals as the great European wines and cellar aged to reach their full potential. Their range consists of two signature Cap Classiques as well as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah Mourvèdre. Over the holiday period their charming little tasting room set among the vineyards is open 7 days.
Call 028 313 2126.
Further along the Hemel-en-Aarde Road towards Caledon is Seven Springs. Their tasting room is open 7 days a week. Phone 028 316 4994 for a tasting or to place an order.
Annually there is a Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration hosted on the last weekend of January.
Hermanus Speciality Wine Shops:
Hermanus Wine & Company, High Street, Hermanus Tel 028 313 2047
Hermanus Wine Village, Hemel-en-Aarde Village, Hermanus Tel 028 316 3988
Hermanus Craft Breweries:
Hermanus Brewing Company Tel 073 184 6076
The Brewery Hemel-en-Aarde Tel 028 316 4626
Hermanus Wine Hoppers for a vineyard safari. Tel 076 991 2498
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