Start the day with a leisurely drive along the picturesque Cape coastline, passing by the coastal towns of Gordon’s Bay, Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay en route to Hermanus and the Hemel en Aarde Valley. This famous drive is aptly named the “Cape Whale Route” because it boasts some of 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. Ask your guide to show you the best spots to stop off along the way.
When you get closer to Hermanus you’ll 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 is appropriately named “Heaven & Earth” in one of the local languages, Afrikaans. This region’s close proximity to the ocean makes it prime for cool climate varietals, mainly of French, German and Northern Italian descent. Wines like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah (including some excellent Methode Cap Classique, the local sparkling wine) are all produced in this hidden gem of a region. Most of the wineries in the valley are considered boutique and small production but are growing rapidly in terms of world-class recognition.
Stop at three of these wineries to taste the spectacular wines on offer and admire the views, including Domaine Des Dieux, the first and only MCC producer in the Hemel-en-Aarde. This small production, premium wine estate boasts stunning views of the valley for you to enjoy as you sip on their range of award-winning wines. When you’re ready, one of the tasting room assistants will supply you with a bottle of bubbles and their famous, life-size sabre to do your own sabrage! This experience is offered exclusively for Explore Sideways guests and is not to be missed.
Your last stop will be a visit 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.
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 favourites and we cannot wait to share it with you.
Rate includes: Pickup and drop-off from your accommodation in and around Cape Town or Hermanus, private driver-guide, coastal drive along the Cape Whale Route, 3 wine tastings, sabrage and MCC experience
Rate excludes: Lunch and Gratuity
*NOTE: For last minute bookings, special requests or large groups, please contact us at +27 79 607 1978 or [email protected]