Spend an exceptional day exploring the boutique wine producers of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Known for its Pinot and Chardonnays, this region is a delight to true wine connoisseurs that want to discover the diverse appeal of South African wines. Drive down the famous coastal Whale Route through Gordon’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay and then spend the day tasting heavenly world class wine in the renowned Hemel-en-Aarde valley wine region.
Start the day with a beautiful drive along the picturesque Cape coastline, passing through Gordon’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay en route to Hermanus. This famous drive is aptly named the “Whale Route” because it is known to have the best land-based whale watching in the world. The majestic Southern Right whale can be spotted year round but they are seen in abundance between June and November when they come to breed and calve.Make your ascent into the adjacent Hemel-en-Aarde valley, with dramatic mountain landscapes and endless vineyard views. There’s no question why this valley appropriately named “Heaven on Earth” in Afrikaans. This region’s close proximity to the ocean makes it prime for cool climate wines, mainly of a French, German and Northern Italian descent. Wines like Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Mourvedre, Chardonnay and even some great bubbles are all produced in this hidden gem of a region. All the wineries here are boutique and small production, but are growing rapidly in terms of a world-class recognition.After stopping at two of the family owned wineries to taste, you visit Domaine Des Dieux, the first and only MCC (sparkling wine) producer in the Hemel-en-Aarde. This small production premium wine estate boasts stunning views of the Valley as you sip on their range of award winning wines. And just when you thought life couldn’t get better, one of the tasting assistants will supply you with some bubbles to do your own sabrage! This experience is offered exclusively for Sideways guests and is really not to be missed.Your final stop will take you to Creation Winery. Situated high up the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge near Hermanus, Creation’s vines climb the steep hills of Babylonstoren Mountain to a lofty altitude of 350 meters above sea level. Here they bask in generous sunlight, flourish in 450-million-year-old clay loam soils with decomposed Bokkeveld shale and dance in the cool breezes blowing in from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. You’ll experience one of the most impressive food and wine pairings in South Africa. Known for their award winning Pinot noirs and Chardonnays, you can see how the perfectly prepared canapés can enhance the unique flavors of the wines.After you’ve sipped and sabraged, your guide will bring you back to your accommodation in Cape Town or Hermanus. This region is one of our personal favorites and we cannot wait to share it with you.