Great Wine Capitals (GWC) is a network of major global cities sharing a key economic and cultural asset: their internationally renowned wine regions. Now in its 23rd year, GWC’s Best of Wine Tourism Awards is an international competition designed to reward the wineries in member cities and wine regions that have distinguished themselves in terms of delivering quality experiences to the public.


I was born and bred in the Cape Winelands and had the privilege of growing up on three wine estates – close to the soil, close to the people.  I know about the struggle and effort it takes to raise a vineyard and about all the hands and hearts that go into it. I have never underestimated the tenacity it takes to cope with the vagaries of the weather, water shortages, power outages, fire, political interference, viruses in the vineyard – and now COVID-19. A vintage represents a year in history, and this one will indeed be remembered.


This past week Creation Wines had the honour of receiving the prestigious 2021 Great Wine Capitals (GWC) Best of Wine Tourism Award for Innovative Wine Tourism. Since its establishment in 2002 this Hemel-en-Aarde estate has become synonymous with innovation and co-owner and marketing director Carolyn Martin says the Creation team is delighted.


When it was recently announced that the Creation Art of Pinot Noir 2018 was among the Top Five at the inaugural Mosaic Pinot Noir Awards, co-owner Carolyn Martin responded that it is always rewarding when a Creation wine gets this recognition from a reputable tasting panel.


“As Creation’s vines get older, so the quality of the Pinot Noirs they produce continues to increase,” says Tim Atkin MW in his latest (2020) South Africa Special Report. And it is not only the Creation Pinot Noir that he rates highly.


Make this all-star, easy-to-follow Wild Mushroom Risotto recipe from Chef Peter Goffe-Wood.


Ask Creation viticulturist and winemaker Jean-Claude (JC) Martin about his favourite cultivar and he responds without hesitation: Pinot Noir. He loves drinking it, he loves growing it and he loves making it! Small wonder there are four Pinot Noirs in the Creation portfolio and even less wonder that the wines win accolade upon accolade, locally as well as internationally.


They say wine records and then reflects history as no vintage is ever the same. While this has mostly to do with climatic conditions, the 2020 vintage will certainly also be remembered for the challenges posed by the Covid-19 Lockdown. At Creation however, the prospects are rosy with Cellarmaster Jean-Claude (JC) Martin saying that the crop was well balanced and the quality of the grapes great.


When Overstrand Hermanus was recently (2019) awarded UNESCO Creative City status for Gastronomy, it was one of only 10 cities worldwide and the first on the African continent to receive this distinction. “What an honour to be recognised as a laboratory of ideas and innovative practices and for bringing a tangible contribution to achieving sustainable development goals that directly benefit our community,” comments Creation co-owner Carolyn Martin.


At Creation, all grapes are harvested in a time-honoured way – by hand. This is in line with co-owner Jean-Claude (JC) Martin’s respect for Mother Nature and his artisanal approach in both the vineyard and the cellar.

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