Hermanus is one of those blessed South African town’s that seems to have it all. From being the whale-watching capital of the world to being surrounded by epic coastlines, fynbos and nature reserves, the town has a booming list of exciting tastes, smells and sights that will satisfy anyone looking for things to do in Hermanus.
Wine tasting forms a huge part of the quintessential Cape experience and once again, Hermanus doesn’t disappoint when it comes to its wide selection of wine estates scattered along its very own wine route.
The Hermanus Wine Route on the R320 meanders along the coast of Walker Bay and through the scenic Hemel-en-Aarde valley. Translated to be Heaven on Earth, the area is bursting with orchards and vineyards that create a country atmosphere for visitors to come and enjoy.
The Wine Route boats 15 of its own wineries, each growing small batches of premium quality wine in carefully and sustainably managed vineyards. Visitors can choose to drop in for wine tasting or sign up for a wine route tour where you are collected from your holiday accommodation and chauffeured to selected cellars. Some of the tasting venues also offer lunch and cheese pairings set in beautiful gardens.
Tim Hamilton Russell planted the first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes in 1975. Since then the cool climate of the area has produced many award-winning wines, many of which are celebrated each August at the Hermanus Food and Wine Festival.
The area specialises in producing cultivars of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinotage, Shiraz and Pinot Noir. In fact, every one of the four top Pinot Noirs awarded in the Platter’s Wine Guide 2015 comes from Route 320 in Hermanus, once again underscoring the importance of this wine region for South African producers. Other delightful wines like Merlot and Chenin Blanc are produced in smaller quantities and add diversity to the wine lists in the area.
While these wines draw wine lovers from all over the world, the pristine shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the stunning mountain vistas and fynbos-decorated hills add to the appeal and guarantee visitors to the Hermanus Wine Route a memorable holiday.