An Artist’s Cottage
At the foothills of the Babylon Toren Mountain you will find this enchanting cottage for rent. We love the whispered views and its scenic escape with neighboring vineyards.
For more information visit, Perfect Hideaways.
The wine trail are impressive and here are the top vineyards according to decanter.
Hamilton-Russell Vineyards grew in reputation from its first vintage in 1981. Peter Finlayson, its first winemaker, also recognised the valley’s potential for the Burgundian duo, and this was confirmed when the 1986 Pinot Noir won a local competition at which Paul Bouchard (of Bouchard Aîné) was a judge.
From the centre of Hermanus to Hamilton Russell Vineyards is roughly 8km, and it‘s best to set off after rush hour. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that established Hemel-en-Aarde’s reputation are a good launching pad for the day. Also excellent are the estate’s peppery extra virgin olive oil and fynbos honey.
A few bends further up the valley finds La Vierge, where Gerhard Smith, with several years’ experience in New Zealand’s Wairarapa region, brings Pinot expertise to the four versions he produces. These can be enjoyed on the verandah with spectacular views of the nearby mountains and sea.
In 1989, Finlayson assembled a group of shareholders, later to include Bouchard himself, to start Bouchard Finlayson, on a site just above his former employer.
While pristine fynbos with indigenous vegetation covers most of the property (guided walks with a botanist are offered), Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the focus in the vineyards, though like others, Finlayson ventured beyond: his Hannibal blend, featuring Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera, offers an intriguing diversion.
Before wending your way slowly down the valley, stop to taste Kevin Grant’s Ataraxia Wines in his eye-catching Wine Lounge: an art-filled chapel built in keeping with the vernacular Overberg style.
Alongside Bouchard and Grant, Hannes Storm is another Burgundy enthusiast to start his own winery after being schooled in Hemel-en-Aarde’s possibilities at Hamilton-Russell. Open by appointment only.
Others have arrived in the valley, setting up their own cellars: Newton Johnson was soon acknowledged, both locally and internationally, in particular for its Pinot Noir, but also for quality across its range.
Founder and Pinot devotee Dave Johnson, with wife Felicity (née Newton), bought their current property in Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in 2000, establishing the vineyards the following year.
Johnson chose a higher altitude site in the belief that it offers greater maritime influence and more complex soil profiles.
Sea-foragers, the Newton Johnsons found a perfect seafood partner in Albariño, producing a South African first in 2013.
Craig and Anne Wessels have shown Cabernet Sauvignon can be a success at Restless River, as well as the excellent Chardonnay they’ve made for some years.
Jean-Claude and Carolyn Martin, high up on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge at Creation, have ventured into Rhône territory with fresh, elegant Viognier, Syrah and Grenache.
Chris and Suzaan Alheit’s Alheit Vineyards (open by special arrangement only) new Hemelrand Vine Garden, a field blend of Roussanne, Chenin, Chardonnay, Verdelho and Muscat de Frontignan, is destined to become as acclaimed as their Chenins from other parts of the Cape.
When to go
Today it is a thriving tourist resort, hosting annual events such as Hermanus Fynarts Festival, 10 days of music, wine and art – many famous South African artists lived and worked here – and a whale festival held annually during spring when the much-loved southern right whales return to Walker Bay to give birth.
With so many diverse pursuits and wines located in such beautiful surroundings, visitors to Hermanus and Hemel-en-Aarde are spoiled for choice.
This Autumn we just love to visit vineyards and here are our top three.
The Mallorcan gem in Petra is breathtaking. Take a guided tour through their wine cellars and indulge in the newly renovated architectural building constructed in 1868. website.
millbrook vineyards & winery
This friendly vineyard in Duchess County has the acreage a gala but yet feel intimate. It is another Hudson Valley vineyard that wont disappoint if you live locally. Harvest season is right around the corner and Millbrook has many hosted events.
The Southold, New York secret garden. Come and enjoy a little bubbly and pairings. We love escaping to the Hamptons and finding little joys such as this one.
V E G E T A R I A N
Eating in Italy vegetarian style
We really appreciate how diverse Italian food really can be. There is an ever ending possibility to its cuisine. Here is your complete guide to eating well in Italy if you are a practicing vegetarian.
Ma Va’ | Menu boasts of appetizers made of chickpea hummus, eggplants, and tabouleh. This vegan eatery includes Italian and Mediterranean dishes.
Madre Terra | Located near the small Villa Torlonia Park and the former Roman residence of Mussolini in Trieste/Nomentano neighborhood. You will find the vegan restaurant to be a delight. A variety of Pizzas are made gluten free and the veggie burgers are raved about.
Dont forget to indulge in their BIO BAR. The Bio Bar serves coffee, a teas and herbal teas, pastries, cakes and fruit juices and smoothies.
Le Bistrot | The tucked away vegan gem offers you fresh homemade delicious food. Yumm-O. We are getting hungry just typing this.
Il Margutta | Saving the best for last, this restaurant and art gallery. Say what?! Yes, we are in love and its calling us. Expect to enjoy truffle and apple extract sauce, fennel stew with carbonara foam, or grilled mushroom and soy burgers served with fries. Daily they make a fresh veggie mayonnaise, ketchup and chilli mustard.
Our Connecticut Home
The Fall Issue is now live. Enjoy the new season read of all things FALL.