The Hemel-en Aarde Valley, which overlooks Hermanus, is known for wine, delicious food, and amazing scenery. At Creation Wines, perched at the top of the Hemel-en-Aarde ridge (hemel and aarde means “heaven and earth” in Dutch), these three pillars come together perfectly.
In 2002 Jean-Claude and Carolyn Martin planted vines on their 40-hectare farm in the Walker Bay wine region, a relatively new, cool-climate region that lends itself to chardonnay and pinot noir cultivars. Nearly two decades later, Creation Wines produces some of the most highly acclaimed wines in South Africa and pairs them with culinary works of art that can win over even the most discerning palettes.
Creation is known for its food and wine pairings, in which the tasting room chefs carefully match the flavours of each Creation wine with dishes containing ingredients from the surrounding Overberg region. From tiny, delicate herb leaves garnishing the bread and butter to hearty chunks of line fish stained with red radish and raspberry curd, each ingredient in a multi-course Creation meal tells its own miniature story.
Creation’s 2019 winter menu — called the FynArts Story of Creation — is built around the art of South African sculptor Nanette Ranger, whose works dot both the farm’s garden and the interior of the tasting room. Ranger’s graceful female forms meld seamlessly with the soaring mountains behind them; inside, the food is served on earthy ceramic dishes Ranger created specifically for each course. The pats of butter are shaped like protea blooms, formed using a mould Ranger made herself.
And then there’s the wine. The first two wines in the Creation tasting line — the Sauvignon Blanc 2019 and the Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2018 — are served as a “sensorial tasting”, in which the taster sniffs a halved granadilla and a small dish of sea salt before sipping. The wines explode on the tongue and taste literally like fresh fruit and the sea. Each wine tastes better as the courses progress.
The Creation six-course pairing with eight wines costs R570 and is totally worth saving up for. There are options for non-drinkers too, including a non-alcoholic tea and canapé pairing that runs parallel to the wine pairing. Creation also does less expensive cheese and chocolate pairings, a gelato pairing, a kiddie pairing, and special menus for vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians.
Creation Wines is on the R320 in Hemel-en-Aarde. Bookings are absolutely essential. Call 028-212-1107 or visit creationwines.com for more information.