FERNKLOOF TO BOUCHARD FINLAYSON
The verdant Fernkloof Nature Reserve is the start point of this walk, and well maintained paths lead to an elevation of 321m before meandering down the hill on the other side, into the Hemel and Aarde Valley. The walk of approximately 2.5 hours gets us to Hamilton Russell for a tasting and then it’s a short sprint to the wonderful tasting rooms of Bouchard Finlayson.
Established in 1960, Fernkloof Nature Reserve covers 18 km2 of the Kleinrivier Mountains. Famous for its incredible wealth of fynbos, while the nature reserve comprises only 0.002% of the Cape Floral Kingdom it hosts 18% of plant species – according to the website there is no other place on earth where so many different species can be viewed in such proximity. Walkers may also encounter a number of small animal species such as the grey rhebok, Cape grysbok, klipspringer, baboon, mongoose and dassie.
Hamilton Russell Vineyards pioneered viticulture and winemaking in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and specialises in producing highly individual, terroir driven Pinot noir and Chardonnay with a world class status.
Bouchard Finlayson Boutique Winery has established a global reputation for its 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: Nebbiolo, Barbera and Mourvèdre – unusual in new-world wine growing regions but very well suited to the unique terroir.