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A 'time honoured' valley...

Visitors to Hermanus should have noticed the turn-off to the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley before the entrance to the town;  but... anyone with the vaguest interest in wine will know that this is where great wines are made.

It is a valley of almost indescribable beauty.  Flanked by the Babilonstoringberge (Babylon's Tower Mountains) – higher than Table Mountain – to the north and the Hermanus mountains to the south, with the Onrust River down the middle, and the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

Hemel-en-Aarde Village at the entrance is a great place to start – with the resourceful Wine Village, some of the region's best restaurants, great art, ceramics, jewellery and much more.

Leaving the Hermanus road, one moves up into the valley and there are views to the mountains, across vineyards, dams and forests, and down to the sea... as far as Hangklip at the entrance to False Bay.  Since 1980, grazing and cash crops have given way to some of the finest vineyards in South Africa.  Hamilton Russell Vineyards is listed in the top wine estates worldwide.  Bouchard Finlayson has been winning accolades too.

It is a destination for serious winelovers and lovers of unspoilt countryside.  There are places to eat – Moggs Country Cookhouse (Wed–Sun lunches) and Sumaridge Estate (daily lunches).

For a memorable country escape, close to all Hermanus has to offer, there's self-catering accommodation at Spookfontein, Coch-y-Bondhu Estate, Sumaridge and The Artist's House.

The Valley is very accessible now, unlike in the past.  A new tar road extends through most of the Valley almost as far as Caledon.

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