The Hemel ‘n Aarde valley with its vineyards and sweeping vistas of land, lagoon, sea and mountain, is certainly aptly named. A day’s meander along this wine route is nothing short of divine and the perfect destination for a treat outing.
Having popped into Newton Johnson for a quick and delicious wine tasting, we headed off to Creation to experience for ourselves their much celebrated cuisine. [Tripadvisor rates Creation as the best of 84 restaurants in the Hermanus region.] As we parked we were struck by the beautiful surroundings, the undulating hills planted with vines against a mountain backdrop that appeared almost golden in the weak winter sunshine, thanks to the Leucadendrons that are so spectacular at this time of year. The place was packed. Every square metre of garden and patio heaved with humanity, everyone quaffing wine and having a great time. The popularity of Creation makes it essential to book well in advance.
We were equally blown away by a number of strategically-positioned sculptures by Roberto Vaccaro. Vaccaro is a young artist located in the Western Cape who specializes in creating sculptures of the wildlife in South Africa, using bits of scrap metal. The bird at the entrance to the building was particularly beautiful and really interesting on closer examination. Its tail feathers had been constructed from old windscreen wipers.
The tasting room cum restaurant is modern, light and airy, with a sophisticated yet relaxing ambience. It affords magnificent views of the land- and seascape, making it the perfect setting for lunch and wine tasting.
There were three of us and we opted for a light meal - an antipasti platter for two and a cheese platter for one. The selection of cheeses, cold meats, pickles and olives, accompanied by various home-baked breads, went down exceedingly well with a bottle of utterly delicious Creation Sauvignon Blanc.
The one downside to the Tasting Room experience was the unusually high noise level. We had to speak more loudly than was comfortable and it was a bit of a struggle to hear what the other two were saying. This phenomenon is apparently called “the cocktail party effect” and is not unusual in modern buildings where the architectural style favours hard-edged, non-absorbent surfaces. The combination of brick and glass and the stone floor in the Tasting Room made it difficult to focus attention on what the person next to you was saying because of the noise of different voices reverberating around you.
Creation was so named because the farm was created from virgin countryside. The name also reflects the “original, distinctive flavours” of their wines and the “exceptional, harmonious matches” of the food and wine pairings. The estate also produces its own olive oil, which far surpasses most of the imported varieties.
Creation was every bit as good as its reputation. The food was delicious and beautifully presented and the wine was sublime. One small suggestion: if you are not as young as you were and a touch hard-of-hearing to boot, it may be better to schedule your treat for a weekday out of school holidays.