Hemel En Aarde means “Heaven and Earth”, and is an apt description for this beautiful valley just outside Hermanus. Traditionally, the South African wine industry has been dominated by the Winelands region, to the north of Hermanus. But a combination of clay soils and cool breeze make the Hemel En Aarde valley a dead ringer for northern France, and so it produces some truly excellent wines, mainly Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Hamilton Russell estate in particular has produced some truly superb wines, amongst the very best in the country, whilst Bouchard Finlayson is also producing consistently superb wines. There are a number of other estates in the valley, and overall it is a very attractive place, gentle streams framed by towering mountains.