In Their Words
Creation History & Location
Situated high up the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge near Hermanus, Creation’s vines climb the steep hills of Babylon Toren Mountain to a lofty altitude of 300 metres above sea level. Here they bask in generous sunlight, flourish in clay-rich soils and dance in the cool breezes blowing in from the nearby Atlantic Ocean.
Creation’s story began in 2002, when Swiss-born JC and South African-born Carolyn Martin took up the challenge of establishing a winery in a remote corner of Walker Bay. The 40 hectares had never been planted to vines before but recognising the potential, they set out with determination to transform it into a model wine farm. No easy feat, but then JC and Carolyn (née Finlayson) both come from wine pioneering stock spanning at least 3 generations and 2 continents!
We are famous for our culinary delights, including six exceptional wine and food pairings. From our award-winning Estate and Reserve ranges to the iconic Art of Creation wines, our portfolio is sought-after the world over. We invite you to our little piece of paradise, where curated experiences await. Please book to avoid disappointment!
Creation Operating Hours
Wine Tasting: open daily, 10am-5pm (pre-booking recommended).
Canapé, Lunch & Tea Pairings: available daily, 10am-5pm (reduced menu Tue & Wed). Pre-booking recommended.
Seasonal Small Plate Pairing Menus: available Thu to Mon, 10am-4pm (pre-booking recommended).
Brunch Pairing: available daily at 10am (pre-booking essential & deposit required).
Art Exhibitions: please contact the farm for more information.
All times, prices and facilities listed are subject to change. We recommend checking latest details directly with the farm and pre-booking experiences wherever possible, to avoid disappointment.
Creation Wine Tasting
Our unique enclave on the scenic Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge is a sought-after wine destination where a warm welcome awaits young and old. Knowledgeable and attentive staff, renowned wine and food pairings, plus elegant touches such as superior Riedel glassware – everything combines to offer our guests a truly memorable experience.
Creation’s menus rotate with the seasons. Guests can curate their own wine tastings by the glass, partake in a Small Plates Food Pairing, a Wine & Chocolate Pairing, Brunch Pairing, Non-Alcoholic Pairing with or without Tea or a Kids’ Tasting.
We offer a wide selection of red and white wines, bubbly Cap Classique, Syrah Cape Fine Vintage plus two Creation Gins. The pinnacle of our offering includes our exquisite vegan-friendly Art of Creation Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, meticulously crafted by cellarmaster Jean-Claude Martin and the ultimate expression of our terroir.
Wine Tasting Prices
Individual tastings are priced from R10 for Estate wines, R15 for Reserve Wines, or R30 for our Art of Chardonnay/Pinot Noir. An antipasti platter for 2 is available for R395, which includes a selection of cheeses, meats and homemade breads.
Creation’s seasonal Small Plates Pairing Menu includes 5 wines paired with 5 small plates, for R495pp. We also offer a 4 Wines & Chocolate Pairing for R150pp, 3 Wines & Brunch Pairing for R450pp, a Non-Alcoholic Pairing (with/ without tea) for R450pp or a Kids’ Tasting for R95. Please see below for more details on our seasonal Small Plates Pairing.
In addition to several wine and food pairing options, Creation showcase a daily Blackboard Menu offering a choice of dishes made with the freshest of locally sourced ingredients. Artfully paired with an award-winning Creation wine, each dish serves to highlight the food-friendly, versatile nature of our wines.
The Small Plates Pairing menu (i.e. the Healthy Heritage Menu, Creation Aromatic Winter Experience or Spring Menu) changes according to local seasonal ingredients available. Our talented chefs let their creativity run wild, incorporating exciting flavour and texture combinations to bring you a feast of 5 delectable courses with complementary wines.
Menus & Pricing
Dishes have previously included options such as Trout Poke Bowls, Confit Duck Steamed Bao Buns, Bacon-Wrapped Springbok Loin, Chicken & Harissa Risotto, Asian-inspired Steamed Fish & Macadamia Crepe Suzette. Blackboard Menu mains from R145pp. Note, items included in the Canapé Pairing are usually tapas-sized portions of the blackboard menu.
We recommend referring to www.creationwines.com/ for the latest menus and suggest you pre-book.
Creation Tours & Activities
Should you be interested in a Cellar Tour, please alert your host who may be able to arrange one subject to availability.
For private and prestigious corporate functions, the Creation Tasting Room offers the ideal venue. A diversity of tailormade activities are available including food and wine in the Tasting Room or boardroom, the Mount Babylon Private Champagne Lounge or in a venue of your choice in any major South African city. Please contact the Estate for more information.
For cyclists and hikers, there is a MTB course which traverses through Creation, all the way from the bottom of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Cycle permits must be obtained from ‘Village Cycles’ between Mon to Sat, located at the bottom of the valley road in Hemel-en-Aarde village. Hikers are free. Please note routes are not affiliated to Creation and as such they cannot answer any queries.
Set among the vineyards of Creation Wine Estate is Voormanshuis, a captivating self-catering Cottage accommodating 2 guests, where rustic charm meets quiet sophistication.
The eco-conscious can delight in fresh fountain water sourced from the ravine running below, while solar power provides energy. A well-equipped kitchenette is complemented by a braai area overlooking nature’s splendour. Come winter, you can curl up in front of a cosy hearth. Numerous walking and cycling trails await, with two mountain bikes at the ready.
Prices from R3200 per night for 2 adults. Rates includes water, a selection of Creation wines, firewood, bikes and wi-fi. Breakfast, braai packs and food platters can be arranged for an additional cost. Prices are based on low season (winter).
When Lucy Visited
Renowned for its innovative approach to winemaking, dining and hospitality, Creation has taken South Africa by storm. Located in the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde region, it’s setting the benchmark for what wine farm visitation is all about: great food, amazing wines, impeccable service and a truly spectacular setting. A must visit!
So What Makes Creation Stand Out?
Considering the wine farm was only established in 2002, Creation’s journey has been quite incredible, bagging award after award for owners/winemakers Jean-Claude and Carolyn Martin. Creation recently achieved Top 10 status in the prestigious ‘World’s Best Vineyards’ list, as voted for by 500 leading global wine experts. Placed 10th, it was also the highest ranked wine farm in all of Africa, so you get an idea of how utterly fabulous this wine farm is!
But let me bring you back down to earth slightly. This is not an ostentatious farm full of bling. Yes it’s premium wine and premium dining but actually I’ve always found it to be down to earth, charming, homely and dare I say it – rustic! It’s all about personalised experiences, innovation, a connection to heritage and the land – celebrating food, wine, art and people. Try and throw all your expectations out of the window, come with an open mind and hopefully you’ll fall in love too. Creation is a very special place.
So What About The Farm Itself?
Located at the top of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley around 20 minutes drive from Hermanus, Creation boasts an incredibly picturesque setting, surrounded by vineyards, mountains and a dam. As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, ‘Hemel-en-Aarde’ translates from Afrikaans as ‘Heaven and Earth’ and this area was apparently so named due to the valley’s hills which appear to touch the sky, so much so that you “cannot see anything but heaven and earth”.
Most of the wine farms in this cool climate region (including Creation) sit on the scenic R320 mountain road, which links Hemel-en-Aarde village at the bottom, to the town of Caledon at the top. You can only access it by road and it’s a scenic climb (or descent). When you arrive at Creation you’ll be forgiven for having to remind yourself that there are several other wine farms nearby: it’s so peaceful.
Creation has just one main building which doubles as a tasting room and dining space. On sunny, busier days when there is not much wind, they also open their outside grassy area which is magnificent, as you can sit at tables surrounded by vines, beautiful sculptures and mountains. Just be warned through – it does get windy here so be prepared for all eventualities!
Inside, the decor is modern, with warm country colours and textures. Expect lots of wood, exposed brick, an open fireplace, plus a mixture of table sizes which gives it a slightly more informal, intimate feel. Floor to ceiling glass windows bathe the space in light and having been twice I can tell you the staff are second to none – they are so welcoming, efficient and knowledgeable. And it’s the small details – such as offering me a tour of the cellar on a whim, having recycled paper and bottles, serving their wines in varietal-specific glasses, and replacing all the cutlery and glasses with each course or tasting. They have taken the time to carefully think about things which I highly rate.
One point to note: I haven’t seen ‘Voormanshuis’, their 1 Bedroom accommodation suitable for couples, however I can imagine with Creation’s attention to detail it would be wonderful. Check www.creationwines.com/accommodation/.
What About The Wine Tasting and Food?
I have to admit the first time I visited Creation I found the menus online a bit overwhelming. Should I book brunch or a food pairing? What’s the blackboard menu and is this different from the small plates menu? What about the platters or Heritage Menu? It’s worth taking time to research what TYPE of food experience you want, as they cater brilliantly for pretty much all dietary requirements and they then allocate your approximate table time based on this. Needless to say, it’s definitely worth pre-booking!
Let’s talk firstly about the wines. Oh those wines! Creation make several ranges: their Creation namesake wines, then their Reserve wines, then the exquisite ‘Art Of’ wines. They are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay specialists however also have a LOT of other options, including most styles of red and whites, bubbles, gins and a brandy style Cape Vintage (so good). All wines are estate grown with the exception of their Chenin, which comes from a nearby farm with 26 year old vines. Individual tastings are R10-R30 each (prices from R135 a bottle) and they offer a range of non-alcoholic drinks and even a tea pairing and kids’ pairing.
For me what sets Creation’s wine apart is that they are so elegant, well balanced and structured. Throwaway wine phrases perhaps, but try them (especially the premium options) and you’ll see just how they seem to be a perfect marriage – not overly acidic, tannic or sharp, just full of flavour and aroma. And when specifically paired with their food menus (which they told me they take 2-3 months to plan, this is a serious business!), you are just transported to a different world with every course, where every mouthful is a taste sensation. But there’s also something deeper. You hear a lot about ‘terroir’ in winemaking and here, more than ever, I got a sense that these bottles truly reflect this magnificent spot and the winemaker seems to be able to translate his own intrinsic connection to this land in to the bottles. Pure magic!
Whilst I love their almost buttery passionfruit-driven Sauvignon Blanc and their hugely popular Syrah Granache, I have to mention their Art of Chardonnay. Oh. My. Word. I’ll be honest, Chardonnay has never been a favourite however I left Creation a complete convert. I have NEVER had a Chardonnay this beautiful and whilst it’s right at the very top of their price range (R950 a bottle!), you can sample it for R30 and taste what genuine absolute perfection is in a glass.
As for the food, expect innovative seasonal plates, which can be light and delicate or hearty, rich and adventurous. I’ve had their ‘mini’ platter for two which was beautifully presented and tasty with a selection of deli items, nuts, fruits and breads. Then last time I was invited back to try their Heritage Small Plates menu, consisting of 6 South African inspired dishes paired with 6 of their wines. I was so impressed listening to the wine hosts explain the thought processes behind each course, reimagining traditional ingredients which they’d foraged or ethically sourced. Here, expert chefs create something really wonderful. If you don’t want the full 6 small plates, you can usually order just one of the main dishes off the blackboard. All in all, I think the food and wine are well priced for the quality and diversity on offer.
Some wine farms just have ‘it’. That something special. And it’s not invisible here, you can see it in the sheer hard work the Creation team pull off to make your visit truly special – the amazing personal service, the thoughtful touches, the unusual food combinations (which just work) and the beautiful wines which you just know have had the most incredible touch, from the vineyards to the cellar. This wine farm is suitable for young and old, small and large groups I hope you love the Creation experience as much as I do!
To get the full Creation experience I absolutely recommending booking their affordable tasting menu of small plates, paired with wines. It changes seasonally but so much thought goes into each course and the wines are paired so beautifully it’s the perfect introduction to the wine farm and a snip at around R500pp.