Bouchard Finlayson - A Boutique Winery

For Visitors

Visitors to Bouchard Finlayson are very welcome. If you are fortunate enough to be in the Fairest Cape, a visit to our part of the world - Walker Bay - is a must.

The road less travelled is often the most rewarding. Just over the mountain pass from Cape Town lies a land where the traditions of fine food and fine wines date back a hundred years. Explore the many attractions on offer in this beautiful part of the world.

For example, the little town of Greyton with its artists and antique shops, or Gansbaai where you can cage-dive with the Great White sharks. Caledon boasts a stylish casino, and in Bredasdorp you can discover the amazing shipwreck museum (the southernmost tip of Africa was not called the ‘Cape of Storms’ for nothing). Golfers are welcome at the Hermanus Golf Club and the elegant Arabella Hotel, Spa and Golf Course. Pristine beaches lie in wait at Voëlklip, Grotto, Skulpies Bay and Kamma Bay. Gourmet restaurants are everywhere. There is truly something for everyone.

Nature walks... - Explore these here soon!

BWI (Biodiversity and Wine Initiative) Champion and Pinot noir pioneers, Bouchard Finlayson, will be offering guided or self-guided nature walks to our visitors as from the 1st of November 2012.

Our resident botanist Frank Woodvine will take you on a journey through nature, during which he will impart his knowledge on our "fynbos", the indigenous vegetation type known officially as the Cape Floral Kingdom. Indulge your senses in our indigenous flora and fauna and discover some 50 plant species of which one rare and endangered Witsenia Maura (commonly known as the Bokmakierieriet) was thought to be locally extinct in the Greater Hermanus region. Another interesting find is a lone plant of Salvia granitica, which has been exciting local botanists since it was previously known from only a single specimen collected years ago. 

Other sightings include our national bird the Blue crane, grysbok, mongoose and other interesting fauna and flora. Very rarely you may spot the footprints of the mountain leopard as it wanders from its home in the adjacent Babylonstoring Mountains in a wide-ranging search for food. Information is shared on the initiatives that Bouchard Finlayson follows to ensure that we can all enjoy this unique natural plant kingdom.

All walks must be pre-booked at least a week in advance. The guided walks are available to a minimum of six adults for R300 or R50 per person for groups greater than 6 adults. Children under the age of 16 are welcome to join free-of-charge. Groups will be limited to 15 at a time.

Self-guided walks are free-of-charge and  maps are available at the cellar door.

Contact or 028 312 3515.

Local Touring

Apart from its natural beauty, Walker Bay and Hermanus are on the world map for being one of the best land-based whale-watching sites in the world. But there are many other unique aspects to the area. If you are planning a trip to Bouchard Finlayson, here are some of the other world-beating things to do and see in Walker Bay.

Nature Lovers
• World’s only Whale Crier

The first Whale Crier in the world is not only a major attraction but keeps visitors informed as to where the whales can be seen when he does his rounds every day. The sound of his kelp horn has become a characteristic of the charm of this seaside resort during the whale season.

In the months of June through November, when Southern Right whales come to frolic, mate and calve in the (relatively) warm waters of Walker Bay. It is the crier’s mission to alert shore-based whale watchers to the whereabouts of whales. He does this by blowing his kelp horn. The sandwich board he wears tells whale watchers how to interpret the code which will lead them to the spots where the whales have been sighted.

Fernkloof Nature Reserve – Geraldine 028 312 2985

• World’s most diverse botanical reserve

There is no other place on earth where so many different species can be seen growing in such close proximity. In Fernkloof 1474 species have thus far been collected and identified. Fernkloof Nature Reserve covers 1800 ha in the Kleinrivier Mountains above Hermanus. The terrain ranges in altitude from sea level to 842 m. In late 1957, the Reserve was proclaimed by the Provincial Council of the Cape. It protects indigenous coastal vegetation, Fynbos and a small patch of evergreen forest.

• World’s Largest Carnivorous Plant

The largest carnivorous plant in the world grows on our doorstep! Our famous Vliëebos Roridula gorgonias, is rare and endangered, in the Fernkloof Mountains. It is a giant of the carnivorous plant world, growing as tall as two meters. In fact one species of Roridula is even capable of capturing small birds! Come and see this fascinating plant and many more at the Fernkloof Nature Reserve.

Visit the Beaches

The beaches in Hermanus are a sun worshipper's dream with soft white sands edged with rolling surf. They range from small sheltered coves to long expanses of sand perfect for walking. Soak up the sun or go for a long stroll on one of many beaches. Hermanus boasts many kilometres of beach and sheltered coves, so no matter how busy the summer season is, there is always a secluded cove or stretch of beach where visitors can escape the crowds.

Cliff paths and walking trails

One of the best attractions of Hermanus is the Cliff Path that stretches from the New Harbour in Westcliff all along the coastline to Grotto beach - just over 12 km long. stretching from one side of the town to the other, giving whale watchers unlimited opportunities to study the gentle giants in the coves below or lolling just beyond the breakers.

The path is accessible from many points where parking is possible. Benches at strategic points provide a place to sit and watch the whales or enjoy the sea views. From the Blow Hole at the New Harbour to Kraal Rock in Eastcliff has been declared a protected marine reserve.

For the Adventurous:
Scuba Africa
Explore reefs and dive sites
Aron Degouveia 028 316 2362 or 083 731 8235

Various reefs may be explored by scuba divers from New Harbour, where a diving school offers training, charters and equipment for hire. Many of the reefs’ richest marine life is only accessible by boat.

Reef depths vary from 9m to 40m. Diving areas such as those at the Old Harbour, Boiling Pot, Rietfontein, Table Top, New Harbour and Schulphoek, are accessible to all levels of divers. Shore entries are possible at several points including Rietfontein and Harderbaai, but the most convenient is at the Old Harbour, now part of the marine reserve. Be on the lookout for seals, which enjoy accompanying divers here. The wall varies in depth from 8m to 16m. The sand slopes downwards from 16m, where many gorgonian corals and gorgonshead starfishes can be seen. Boiling Pot forms part of the marine reserve, and should be dived on a calm day from a boat. This reef varies from 8m to 23m with abundant fish and algae are to be seen, and in the shallows a tremendous number of sea urchins.

Shark Lady Adventures
Pioneers of Great White Shark cage diving and surface viewing in South Africa
Kim Machean 028 312 3287 or 083 746 8985

South Africa was the first country to protect the Great White shark, super-predator of the ocean. Seals form an important part of its diet and therefore Dyer Island is an important feeding ground for this endangered shark. It is one of the last places where Great White sharks still occur in large numbers.
The best time to film or view the sharks is during our winter from May to September when these animals congregate near seal colonies on Dyer Island. Early morning is an excellent time to see sharks hunting seals.

Southern Right Charters
Boat based whale watching
Gail Alcock 082 353 0550 or 082 536 0950

The seaside resort of Hermanus in Walker Bay offers the best land-based whale viewing in the world. A cliff path offers many places to contemplate the Southern Right whales which swim in close to the shore to mate.

However if you want to get close and meet the whales in their element, Southern Right Charters takes groups of passengers out to the whales in a ski-boat for 1-2 hours. The boats keep 50 meters away and avoid cow-and-calf pairs (which usually move away of their own accord). Some whales are inquisitive and may surface 3-4 meters of the boat, providing an unforgettable close-up encounter.

While on these trips, schools of dolphins, seals as well as many types of sea birds are often encountered.

The whales start arriving in May in order to calve and to mate in the shallow water. Peak time for whales is October, but many can still be seen in November, tailing off into December.

Walkerbay Adventures
Sunset lagoon cruise, evening barbecue. Abseiling, Sea Kayaking, Canoes & Paddle Skis for hire.
Kobus van Zyl 028 314 0925 or 082 266 8946

Breathtaking paragliding experience with the Air Team’s qualified pilots
082 257 0808 or 021 426 0489

South Coast Quad Bikes
For your adrenaline fix - go for a quad bike experience. Families, business & tour groups
Jaco & Jeannette 083 409 5593

Hemel-en-Aarde horse riding
Arabian horses & Welsh Mountain ponies
Liane van der Hoven 072 697 0841

Hermanus Cycles
Hiring of bicycles for adults to explore and enjoy the champagne air & beautiful scenery.
028 313 2052

Old Harbour Museum
028 312 1475

Old fishing boats - These remnants of the early history of Hermanus, lying idle on the shore down at the harbour, are being carefully restored. They are the original boats used by local fishermen between 1855 and 1961.

The small museum contains several exhibitions depicting the history of fishing and whaling in the area and sections of a whale skeleton. There are also a series of marine tanks in which the sea creatures of our area are kept for study. Talks on the inter tidal zone are held daily on request and provide a fascinating insight into the underwater wildlife that abounds along our shoreline.

Mon - Sat.: 9:00am - 1:00pm & 2:00pm - 5:00pm

Fisherman’s Gallery
A beautiful little gallery with fabulous local art.
Joshua Rossouw – 028 312 2509

Hermanus Golf Club
The golfing paradise at the tip of Africa. Day memberships can be arranged.
Tony Runkel 028 312 1954/5

A world class golf course at the foot of the mountain offers excellent golfing and with the bowling club, tennis and squash clubs, welcomes visitors to use their facilities.

Arabella Country Estate
Award-winning, naturally spectacular golf course
John Bumpstead 028 284 9385

Touring Events Calendar
April: Passion play in Old Harbour
August: Whales to be seen almost daily in Walker Bay
Hermanus Wine & Food Fair 10-12 August
September: Hermanus sailing season opens
Fernkloof Wild Flower Show, Fernkloof Nature Reserve: 14-17 September
Whale Festival: 22-25 Sept - Spring Surf Festival
Peak of the whale watching season
October: Walker Bay Golf Classic, Hermanus Golf Club
Best whale watching time
December: Carols by Candlelight

Eating out
A Sense of indulgence: In Hermanus you’ll realise how easy it is to access the best of everything we have on offer.

From the pleasures of freshly caught seafood to the more leisurely pursuits of long farmstead lunches or sunsets over the sea. Food, fruit, wheat and - our great Bouchard Finlayson wines - we have in abundance. You’ll discover good restaurants, quaint coffee shops and one-of-a-kind traditional delicacies presented with big-hearted hospitality for you to indulge in. Our wines are available in all the recommended restaurants hereunder.

The Harbour Rock
Seafood Grill and Sushi Bar
Tel: +27 28 312 2920

The Harbour Rock is situated on the rocks overlooking the new harbour. With an amazing 270 degree panoramic view of the ocean, this is a perfect opportunity to view the famous whales in the bay. A varied menu with the emphasis on seafood is on offer. Why not try their new Sushi Bar for something a little different.

If you don’t feel like a sit down meal, try the Gecko Bar - right next door- with a wood-burning pizza oven and those fantastic mountain and sea views surrounding Hermanus.

Mogg’s Country Cookhouse
Tel: +27 28 312 4321

At the foot of the Babylonstoren Mountain in the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, lies Mogg's Country Cookhouse. This gem of a restaurant is worth the extra ten minute journey, especially in view of the fact that our wine estate is en route. Housed in an old farm labourer's cottage, the décor is pure country with deep orange walls both inside and out, a large stone fireplace, cosy pine ceiling, and an assortment of wooden tables and log-style chairs.

B’s Steakhouse
Tel: +27 28 316 3625

Ask anyone in Hermanus which restaurant serves the best steaks in the area, and invariably the answer will be B's Steakhouse. B’s Motto:” Life is too short to eat bad food”. Best sellers on the steak side are the Chateaubriand and the Carpetbagger and all sauces are hand-made to complement your steak To complement a first class meal choose from an award winning wine list, which received a Platinum Diners Club award for the second year running – it includes Bouchard Finlayson of course. There is an attractive double-volume ceiling, and a small loft area which house a well stocked cigar bar, with a full range of genuine Cuban cigars... A recent addition to the restaurant is a small butchery counter which sells top quality fresh meat, biltong, boerewors, droewors, and a selection of sauces and dressings.

Fisherman’s Cottage
Tel: +27 28 312 3642

It's so easy to escape the hustle and bustle of the Saturday Hermanus market - simply slip into this rustic old house and dream your dreams of the sea... Line fish and other traditional seafood are excellent, but you have no excuse to not have perlemoen. You'll appreciate the friendly service and ignore the speed of it. On top of it all it's reasonable.

The Milkwood
Tel: +27 28 316 1516

The sea lies to one side and the riverbank lined with reeds to the other. The food is brought to you on the deck directly from heaven, it seems. Succulent line fish (in our case Cape salmon) is accompanied by a good salad, but guests also return for the seafood platter and calamari. Families are welcome in this great setting.

List of Hotels and Guest houses - Hermanus/Walker Bay area
Birkenhead House
+27 (15) 793 0150
Birkenhead House, perched high on the cliffs of Hermanus overlooking the Whalewatchers’ paradise of Walker Bay accommodates guests in the utmost luxury and is the perfect destination for those seeking the pinnacle of seaside living.

The Marine 
Tel: +27 (0) 28 313 1000
The Marine Hotel has one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most spectacular seascapes. The 29 individually decorated luxury rooms and 14 suites, each with its own private facilities, commands views extending across Walker Bay or over the beautiful internal courtyard, finely manicured gardens and the Overberg Mountains. Hermanus offers some of the best land-based whale watching in the world and at the Marine, you can often view these amazing creatures from your bed.

Ocean Eleven
Tel: +27 (0) 28 312 1332
Ocean Eleven is an Olde Worlde, Cape Cod-style guest house, situated on the famous cliffs of Hermanus. The picturesque mountains beyond gently embrace the phenomenal, all encompassing vista of the bay. The main house of Ocean Eleven was built with all the high ceilings, tall windows and teak floors that made Colonial architecture so utterly elegant. All these features - and thus the grace and style - have been retained to this day. Ocean Eleven boasts ten beautifully appointed rooms - three standard, five deluxe and two suites. Every bedroom has an all-embracing sea view over Walker Bay.

Auberge Provence
Tel: +27 (0) 28 312 1413
Set on the edge of the cliffs of Hermanus overlooking the whale watchers' paradise of Walker Bay, is an intimate retreat constructed in the style of a traditional French Provencal farmhouse. Inspired by a beautiful guest house outside St. Remy on the hills of an ancient village. An authentic piece of France complete with rustic stone and wrought iron balconied facade, stone floors and arched walkway. Two majestic wooden doors open to invite you in, to an incomparable vista over the cliffs, fynbos and the bay.

Pats Place
+27 (0) 28 312 2937
At Pat's Place our aim is to spoil you in uncluttered luxury! All rooms are en-suite, with a choice of bath or shower. The beds are extra length with luxurious, crisp white percale cotton linen and fluffy, extra large towels. Weather permitting, a hearty delicious full English breakfast, using only fresh local ingredients from the Hemel -en Aarde Valley will be served on our patio under the oak tree from where you can enjoy the beautiful mountain view.

16 Reasons Guest house
Tel: +27 (0) 28 313 0667
This fabulous guest house offers 16 reasons why you should come and visit. All suites have private entrances to the garden and pool. Centrally situated on Main Road, Hermanus. Only 120 km from Cape Town.

Aloe House
Tel: +27 (0) 28 313 1191
We offer luxurious bed and breakfast guest house accommodation in Hermanus on the famous South African Cape Whale Route.
Our aim is to provide affordable accommodation to both the local and international market, without compromising on style, amenities or service .
All suites have separate entrances leading onto the pool and garden area.

19th Hole Guest house
Tel: +27 (0) 28 312 2766
The greens virtually on your front door, built on the Old Clubhouse site what more could one ask for from a luxuriously appointed Guest Lodge. A stroll along the famous cliff paths overlooking the splendour of Walker Bay and perhaps a whale or two can be seen frolicking in the bay. That's waiting for you just across the road. Come and enjoy the serenity, the convenience, the pure pleasure of a stay at The 19th Hole Guest Lodge where Sandy and Brian McFarlane will be your hosts.

For more info about Walker Bay, Hermanus and the Overberg area,

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