Did you know?
The vineyards of Hemel-en-Aarde are the southernmost on the African continent.
Its name means 'heaven and earth' in Afrikaans. Here in the midst of Hermanus wine farm country, the Cape Overberg Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is scattered with young wine farms that produce home-grown nectar of the gods.
The terroir of the region – clay soil and cooling sea breezes – give the wines their unique flavour, one that is often compared to French wines produced in the north of that country.
Surrounded by the majestic Overberg mountains the valley provides a sheltered location for the production of many varietals. The most popular of these are pinot noirs and chardonnays.
There are 15 estates in the valley – starting with Hermanupietersfontein and ending with Domain des Dieux. Some, like Southern Right, take their inspiration from the whales. Others, like Creation and Mount Babylon, are informed by the names of the valleys where they are created. Don’t pass through without visiting La Vierge, Ashbourne, Spookfontein, Ataraxia and Jakob’s Vineyard.
The boutique winery of Whalehaven lies close to Hemel-en-Aarde village. It produces notable pinot noir and viognier-chardonnay. On the way to Caledon you’ll come upon the Hamilton Russell winery, producer of a pinot noir and a chardonnay - both accorded 5 stars by wine guru John Platter. Bouchard Finlayson comes complete with a tasting room in which to sample the 7 wines produced here. These include an unusually woody pinot noir and a galpin peak.
Then there’s Sumaridge estate, which has a beautiful picnic site, a stone cellar and a restaurant with a view over the valley. Sumaridge has won several awards and is famous for its pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc.
Newton Johnson Wines is a family-run business specialising in chardonnay, felicité, syrah mourvédre, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon. Add a bonus trip to your valley visit by stopping at Beaumont Wines en route to Bot River, where wines are handcrafted following ancient tradition.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Hermanus Wine Route
Tel: +27 (0)83 305 7319
Hemel en Aarde Valley Wines
Tel: +27 (0)28 316 3988
Overberg Tourism Association
Tel: +27 (0)28 214 1466