28 October 2013 by Kate Turkington

Wine tasting in the Western Cape’s Hemel-en-Aarde region

There’s more to Hermanus than whale watching. Go inland from the coast to the lovely Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven and Earth) region and taste some fine wines at Creation.

Creation wine estate on the Hemel-en-Aarde ridge

Maybe you’ve been to see the whales at Hermanus (among the best land-based whale watching in the world), and now you’d like to venture into the gorgeous Cape countryside and sip a glass of wine or two.


										Jean-Claude, the Creation cellar master, at work

Take yourself off to the aptly named Creation wine estate, about 30 minutes inland by road from Hermanus and situated on a lofty ridge in the lovely Hemel-en-Aarde region. Here, for just over a decade, Swiss cellar master Jean-Claude Martin and his team have been making fine wines that are now winning international awards.

His South African wife, co-owner and marketing manager Carolyn Martin, is as passionate in her own way as Jean-Claude is in his.

'We love trying new things – innovation is our maxim,' she tells me as I sip a Whale Pod rosé, the first of its kind from the cellar. 'It’s stylish but unpretentious,' she continues, as I obediently nod my head in a knowledgeable way as she describes its mouth-watering raspberry flavours with a hint of pomegranate, leading to a tangy, savoury aftertaste.

If you’ve time, do a vineyard safari on foot (booking is essential) and discover Creation’s amazing biodiversity, where fynbos, towering mountains, birdlife, vineyards and olive groves rule.

The estate’s appellation is Walker Bay Wine, a label that reflects the maritime terroir of the region. 'We also belong to the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative and our South African Whale Pod launch coincided with the 2010 Hermanus Whale Festival,' Carolyn adds. 'Our 2010 Whale Pod Syrah Malbec won us a five-star rating in Wine magazine.'

Wine buyers from Europe, as well as random visitors like myself, sit at long tables in the wine-tasting room, which overlooks the vineyards that stretch into the distance on all sides. Creation takes pride in pairing its wines with a menu based on fresh produce sourced from neighbouring farms.


										Enjoy a vineyard safari

You can try a wine and chocolate pairing, wine pairing with delicious canapés (that’s the one I’m munching my way through), an artisanal cheese selection, breads and dips, and much more, including a totally decadent raspberry schnapps cake with Turkish delight.

If you’ve time, do a vineyard safari on foot (booking is essential) and discover Creation’s amazing biodiversity, where fynbos, towering mountains, birdlife, vineyards and olive groves rule.

And of course, the sea is not that far away, so you can always take a bottle of Pinot Noir, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, or whatever you fancy, back to the cliffs and watch the whales cruise and play as the sun goes down over the Atlantic ...

Category: Food & Wine

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