Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Walker Bay Wine Route
The Hemel-en-Aarde (heaven and earth) Valley, just behind Hermanus, has become part of a popular wine farm meander and is definitely worth a visit.
Where? Walker Bay Region, Western Cape
When? See individual wine estates for their opening times
Walker Bay, a 45 minute drive from Cape Town, has become a fashionable region to visit, particularly with the establishment of over a dozen wineries in and around Hermanus, already popular for its whale spotting between June and November.
Grapes grown in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley are influenced by the cold Atlantic Ocean and the temperate conditions and clayey soil produce wines similar to those of Northern France.
The valley, which stretches some 6km from Hermanus to Caledon, is surrounded and sheltered by mountains on all sides - Galpin Peak and the Glen Varloch range to the south and the Babylonstoring mountain range to the north - which trap cloud cover and retain moisture throughout the valley.
The Onrust River winds its way through the valley where one of the youngest but fastest growing wine routes in South Africa is already establishing a name with its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay cultivars. The Bouchard Finlayson estate, Whalehaven Wines, Hamilton Russel Vineyards, Cape Bay and Sumaridge are open to the public for wine tastings.
For additional information about Hermanus, attractions, things to do and events and festivals see Hermanus Information & Attractions or, to view the individual wine estates of the Walker Bay Wine Route, see Walker Bay Wine Estates.