Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Valley
Bordering Walker Bay - a breeding ground for Southern Right whales on their annual winter migration - is a 20-kilometre stretch of vineyards known for their unique terroir and maritime character, which derive maximum benefit from the high elevation and cool sea breezes.
The earth has, over millions of years, shifted and moved, creating the wide variations that make up the area's three distinct appelations. Each winery produces small volumes of premium-quality wines in sustainably managed vineyards.
Hermanus is a haven for adventure lovers, with the Walker Bay Xtreme a feature on the calendar of thrill-seekers. Besides whale watching there is shark cage diving, mountain trail hiking and biking, as well as wine-and-food pairing for the less adventurous.
Hemel-en-Aarde has, over the past few years, become recognised as a destination for wine and food enthusiasts, especially of Burgundy-style pinot noirs and chardonnays.
Hemel-en-Aarde (meaning "Heaven and Earth" in Afrikaans) is an area of 15 wineries in the Walker Bay Wine Region that rises from behind the coastal village of Hermanus. Its terroir – clay soil and the cool south-easter that acts as a vortex, cooling down the vineyards with cold air from the Benguela current – imparts a unique flavour to wines, which are often compared with those of Burgundy.
Each winery in Hemel-en-Aarde produces small amounts of highly individual, terroir-driven premium wines that carefully express the winemakers’ personalities.
The Hemel-en-Aarde winegrowers is situated on a 20km-long meandering route (the R320) rich with vineyards, wine estates, restaurants and undoubtably one of the most scenic areas in in Hermanus.
Activities offered by this beautiful coastal town include visits to Fernkloof Nature Reserve, various beaches, the Hermanus Country Market, the Lembu Gallery and Studio, numerous gift and crafts shops and stalls in the centre of the town, and some of the best whale and dolphin watching in the world.
- Scenic drives
- Adventure sports: surfing, kayaking, mountain biking
- Hiking in between fynbos and vineyards
- Cellar tours
- Wine Hoppers safari-style tour from cellar to cellar
- Top golf courses in close proximity
- Vineyard tours
- Kogelberg Nature Reserve, Kogelberg Biosphere UNESCO World Heritage Site
Hermanus has a variety of festivals for visitors, including the Hermanus Whale Festival held in September, the Hemel-en-Aarde Hermanus Pinot Noir Celebration and the Hermanus FynArts Festival in June. This resort town has an active social calendar, so watch the press for details.
The Journey of a Grape
The journey from vine to glass is a matter of science and circumstance. There are a wide number of species of vines which bears a variety of grapes, known as varietals. Each varietal, affected by soil type, climate, wind, farming practices and other factors produces various characteristics.
Tshepang Molisana shares the journey of a grape from vine to wine glass with us.
Start your journey into SA wine at these top wine bars
Drinks with friends used to be such a complicated affair. Bars were for some, and even those people couldn’t use just any bar. It was the ugly side of Cheers, Where Everybody Knows Your Name™. You had to be sure these were your people, once your eyes had adjusted to the smoke and dim interior.