The first timer’s guide to the Hemel–and–Aarde Valley

by | Dec 13, 2018 | Blog, Lifestyle, News

For a relaxing and wine-filled experience, many would suggest taking a day or so to enjoy the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde Valley.

It is your first day out in South Africa and you are here to taste the wine. The country is loud, filled with contradictions and you need a break from the bustling city in the shadow of Table Mountain. Head to Hermanus immediately, writes Veritas 2018 Young Wine Writer of the Year runner-up, Catea Sinclair.

In this town, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is a thing, but several other cultivars proudly hold their own as well. Follow the R 320 winding through the Hemel – and – Aarde area to your first stop at Southern Right Wines for a taste of cool climate Pinotage and Sauvignon blanc.

After you have been charmed by the solitude and stylish simplicity of the winery, head further up the valley for a tasting followed by lunch at Newton Johnson Vineyards. Minimal intervention, terroir driven wines and an incredible view of mountains and the cool Atlantic makes for an unforgettable experience. If you are looking to eat something that is interesting and also genuinely excellent, The Restaurant at Newton Johnson is the place to be. You might linger longer than anticipated.

Invariably, post-lunch tastings will make you feel like it is all downhill from there, but the best is yet to come. There might be more ‘refined’ wineries in the Hemel – and – Aarde area, but Restless River has a Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon lauded as some of the best in South Africa. Allow them to blow your mind, because they will. To end off the day, head to Creation situated on the Hemel – and – Aarde Ridge. Masterful at the art of entertaining, enjoy dessert while letting your idea of food and wine pairings shatter in front of you. The staff is friendly, the space is warm and the wines truly reflect the growing area.

You will leave Hermanus with a heavy heart, full belly and car filled to the brim with exceptional wines. Don’t be surprised if you lie in your bed later wishing that you were still there.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Catea sinclair from Hermanus is the runner-up in the 2018 Veritas Awards Young Wine Writer of the Year.

As part of her prize, Catea’s work will be published exclusively on WineLand Media’s print and digital platforms.

Catea is a business owner and entrepreneur in wine-related fields. Watch our Veritas Young Wine Writer of the Year video here. Alternatively, read the full story here.


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