When you think of wine in South Africa, very often Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Constantia spring to mind. And you'd be correct as these are the traditional, centuries-old wine estates that have quite literally put SA on the map as a wine-producer of note.
But there's a wine adventure waiting to happen out in the Overberg.
Similarly, a region better known for its whale-spotting, many are not aware that the Overberg has six distinct wine 'pockets' offering up some exceptional fruit of the vine.
Theewaterskloof, Elgin, Botrivier, Hermanus, Stanford and Elim/L'Agulhas have all grown in their distinct wine-producing appeal and popularity over the years.
Click here to view the entire Overberg Wine offering.
During a recent visit to Hermanus, we planned our trip around an indulgent visit to Creation Wines, located in the crevice of the Hemel-en-Aarde ridge of the Overberg.
It's a short, 30-minute drive if you're staying close to the Old Harbour in Hermanus and worth the day-trip experience.
READ: The Overberg is winter-escape ready, here's why you should head to Hermanus
Having heard about their creative wine-parings, the Harvest Story of Creation, a six-course pairing became the focal point of our experience. As the name suggests, it brings a feast of delectable courses (you don't have to opt for all six) - artfully paired with eight award-winning wines to celebrate the harvest, from the vine to all other elements of the farm. And they only use fresh, locally sourced produce in their combinations.
Owners Jean-Claude and Carolyn Martin are very hands one, knowing their vineyards intimately and extending a rich earthiness to the patrons of their tasting room.
The couple have literally positioned the wine estate as a sensory experience that delights both young and old in the menu offering. There are tasting menus for non-alcoholic drinkers too, as well as vegan and vegetarian portions given as much consideration in the menu selection.
Carolyn's passion in establishing the wine estate as an Overberg stop-in, par excellence matches the award-winning wine making skills of Cellar Master Jean-Claude.
She took us through the how their wines are given its distinct flavours thanks to complex terroir (including quarts and shale). But mostly it's the unique Hemel-en-Aarde valley that is cooled by the Atlantic breeze that plays into their wines' elegant complexity.
"Wine tasting is 80% flavoured aromatics and 20% taste. Creation wine tastings engage the salty, sweet, sour and umami flavours," she explains as we sniffed salt vs passion fruit paired with their famous Sauvignon Blanc.
The changes in flavour are notable.
Carolyn explains how Creation's maiden Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted on the cooler south-facing slopes of Creation, with wine master Jean-Claude choosing five different clones, selected suitability to the terroir and to a specific site.
As a result each of these clones "imparts particular characteristics, resulting in the aromatic, beautifully faceted Sauvignon Blanc for which Creation has gained world-wide recognition".
Adding to her flair, Jean-Claude shares about the combinations of the varietals on offer, with the rapour of the tasting room manager Phillip Marais adding delightful layers to a decadent afternoon. The experience takes about 60-90 minutes depending on the number of course you select - click here for full details.
They will be hosting a special tasting experiences during the Hermanus Fynarts festival - read more about what they get up to on their blog here.
Don't miss the whales and festivals!
A host of festivals take place leading up to the season - Hermanus Fynarts from 7 to 17 June, Kalfiefees from 8 to 11 August and the official Whale Festival from 27-29 September this year.
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