BOUCHARD FINLAYSON, a boutique wine estate in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, is our featured Conservation Champion wine farm this month.
In the hidden gem of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley outside Hermanus, Bouchard Finlayson is an award-winning family-run winery with a focus on celebrating the local fynbos.
The estate enjoys 80% of its land as wilderness, which brings the added responsibility of taking care of over 100 ha of mountain fynbos. It unofficially extends the protected footprint of fynbos by connecting to the neighbouring Fernkloof nature reserve.
FLORA AND FAUNA
The northern slopes of the Hemel-en-Aarde valley are home to a special stretch of ancient Afromontane forest. Bouchard Finlayson has created a guided walking tour with a more advanced section of the trail that takes a loop into this indigenous forest in the Galpin Kloof, leading up to the 810 m Galpin Peak.
Frank Woodvine, a resident botanical expert at Bouchard Finlayson, has slowly restored the riverine fynbos vegetation to its original condition and has recorded over 330 local plants, including some very rare species.
The estate has a zero tillage philosophy, so they reduce tractor travel to protect soil from being compacted. They also aim to use zero detergents in the winery. Potassium hydroxide is the only cleansing agent used, which means that the wastewater can be used to irrigate the vineyards as potassium is a key plant nutrient.
Considered South Africa’s father of Pinot Noir, Peter Finlayson was the co-founder of the farm in 1989, together with the late Paul Bouchard. Peter was the first winemaker in this valley and he put the Walker Bay area on the wine map of South Africa. This boutique winery is now under the ownership of the Tollman family.
With the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley being named ‘’heaven on earth’’ as a tribute to its signature frost-free terroir that is renowned for its Pinot Noir, Bouchard Finlayson’s flagship is the award-winning Galpin Peak Pinot Noir.
Pre-book a guided nature walk with fynbos specialist Frank Woodvine, or pop in for a wine tasting and a deli platter consisting of cheese, charcuterie, ciabatta, olives and nuts. There are snack boxes for children. Bouchard Finlayson also hosts the monthly classical concerts for the Hermanus Music Society.
As one of WWF’s 40 Conservation Champions, an exclusive and hard-earned status, Bouchard Finlayson can proudly use the striking sugarbird and protea logo on their wine bottles. This logo demonstrates their long-term commitment to the environment and conservation of the succulent Karoo and Cape floral kingdom.
For more information on WWF’s Conservation Champions, visit: wwf.org.za/conservationandwine
Support environmental leaders in SA’s wine industry
SAA is pleased to support WWF’s Conservation Champions by profiling the estates and serving their wines. SAA is committed to improving the sustainable sourcing of its on-board wine selection, with options from Conservation Champions, so you can enjoy your wine knowing that it contributes to environmental sustainability in the Western Cape.
Download the free WWF Champion Wine guide app to stand a chance to win a wine tasting and deli platter for two people, as well as a gift box of three award-winning Bouchard Finlayson wines. Valued at R1 033. T&Cs apply. wwf.org.za/wineapp