This pet-friendly wine estate on the Hemel En Aarde wine route offers wine-tasting, deli platters and various nature walks through the vineyards and Fynbos.
Where is it?
You’ll find them on the R320 just outside Hermanus, along the Hemel en Aarde wine route.
Why go there?
The estate itself is beautiful and you can taste their wines (either in the cellar or on the veranda depending on the weather), tuck into a cheese and charcuterie platter and go for a walk through the vineyards and Fynbos. They are also pet-friendly, so you can take your dog with you!
How much am I going to pay?
Wine tastings are R30 for 3 wines, or R60 for 6 wines. They also have a deli platter that can easily feed two people for R260.
When is it open?
Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 17h00
Saturdays 10h00 to 13h00
The cellar is closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
Telephone (028) 312 3515, https://www.bouchardfinlayson.co.za/
A while back I was lucky enough to be invited to a wine pairing of Bouchard Finlayson wines at The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa, which was a decadently delicious affair as you can imagine! So the next time I was in Hermanus, I popped in at their estate to see what happens there and what visitors could expect.
My friend and I tasted their wines, swanned about in the cellar taking the art (it was the Hermanus FynArts Festival, of whom Bouchard Finlayson are major sponsors) and enjoyed the views from the colonial-style veranda. It really was rather heavenly and I will definitely go back, especially as I found out that they are pet-friendly! It is very rare for a wine estate to allow dogs so this was a wonderful discovery. Next time I shall take Tino along for walkies!
Here’s what I learnt and what you can look forward to if you visit.
About Bouchard Finlayson
Established in 1989, Bouchard Finlayson began as collaboration between Paul Bouchard, celebrated Burgundian winemaker, and locally awarded talent, Peter Finlayson. Together, they broke the soil, planted the vines and built the cellar. Today they have established a global reputation for their flagship wine, the Galpin Peak Pinot Noir, which has won numerous awards and accolades. Other cultivars from the farm include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese, Chenin Blanc and Riesling as well as some newer varieties, being Nebbiolo, Barbera and Mourvèdre.
Everything here happens on the estate, from growing to picking, aging, bottling, labelling and packing. In addition to producing award-winning wines they also produce a small quantity of extra virgin olive oil from their 1000-tree olive grove and estate honey from the hives on the farm.
Plus, Bouchard Finlayson are a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion. They are acknowledged as an environmental leader in the industry for their commitment to conservation, responsible production practices and integrated environmental management systems, along with spearheading innovations in water, energy efficiency and climate adaptation. Their devotion to conservation has meant that only 22 hectares of the precious land is under vines, with over 70% of property being devoted to pristine wild land with the natural indigenous Fynbos being preserved in the interests of biodiversity.
Wine Tasting at Bouchard Finlayson
The Bouchard Finlayson cellars are open for wine tastings daily. There is a choice of 9 wines for tasting. A tasting of 3 wines costs R30 per person, a tasting of 6 wines costs R60 per person. Visitors are always welcome, but larger groups should book to avoid disappointment.
Cellar tours are also available and cost R60 per person. These need to be pre-booked.
Deli Platter at Bouchard Finlayson
You can order a deli platter, served on wooden boards made from old barrels, laden with Salami, mild Gruberg cheese, Colby cheese, ciabatta, estate olive oil, olives, olive tapenade and mixed nuts. The deli platter is more than enough for two and costs R260. We didn’t have one of these, but the table next to us did and it certainly looked delicious!
Nature Walks at Bouchard Finlayson
There are three hikes on the farm, varying from 45 minutes to a two and a half hour hike. The longest one reaches a small, grassy sward at the foot of a waterfall that is ideal for a picnic. More than 330 plant species have been identified on the farm, including The Witsenia Maura, the Caledon Bluebell and many different species of Erica and Protea. You may also spot South Africa’s national bird, the Blue Crane, as well as Grysbok and mongoose. All walking trails on the farm are available free of charge to self-guided hikers – collect maps and sign indemnity forms at the cellar door. Your (leashed) dog is allowed to join you on a walk through the farm too!
Or you can book a guided walk through the 100 hectares of protected Fynbos on the farm with resident conservationist and botanist, Frank Woodvine, followed by a wine tasting and their deli platter.
So the next time you are in the Hemel En Aarde Valley, pop in with your pooch at Bouchard Finlayson. You can go on a beautiful walk and then tuck into a cheese and charcuterie platter while enjoying some award-winning wine!
Published June 2019 | Hosted by Bouchard Finlayson