WALKER BAY WINE ROUTE
Walker Bay is a wine-producing area on the south coast of the Western Cape, 95 kilometers (60 miles) from Cape Town. It is typified by its maritime climate which is one of the coolest in South Africa. The region is held in high regard for the Burgundian-styled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that is made here, along with fresh, flinty Sauvignon Blanc.
Walker Bay’s viticultural zone extends from the whale watching town of Hermanus on the coast to Bot River in the north and Sunday’s Glen in the east. The region’s most notable vineyards are found in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley, which runs in an east-west direction from the coast. Proximity to the ocean means that the vineyards in Walker Bay are subject to heavy maritime influences. Long, sunny summers are cooled by the ocean breezes that come from the south-east. The Antarctic Benguela current from the nearby Atlantic Ocean ensures these breezes are cold enough to refresh the grapes during the ripening season. This has the effect of slowing the ripening process, allowing the grapes to develop concentrated flavors while retaining acidity.
Local wine estates provide plenty of opportunities for wine tasting, and Walker Bay wines are attracting international attention. Wineries are rivaling their Stellenbosch counterparts in reputation.
I have visited a few of them so for the purposes of now I will review them individually and briefly.