What it takes to produce wine on one of SA’s leading estates

120km from Cape Town lies a glorious valley in Walker Bay, Hermanus. The Hemel-en-Aarde valley has been monikered by its celestial name for over 200 years. In this picturesque part of the world, rolling vineyards meet a thunderous ocean. Nothing could be more apt than the moniker ‘Heaven-and-Earth’.

Peter Finlayson, Founder of the Hemel-en-Aarde’s Bouchard Finlayson Winery has an innate knowledge of the history and viticulture of the valley. Widely regarded as a pioneer of South African Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Peter Finlayson and business partner Michael Clark founded Bouchard Finlayson in partnership with Frenchman, Paul Bouchard in 1989. In 2000, the Tollman family purchased the wine farm with the proviso that Peter would remain at the helm of the farm as winemaker and General Manager. 

Peter, mentored a successor in winemaker, Chris Albrecht, as he spread his seasoned wings. With extensive experience in New Zealand and France, and impressive accolades at a winery in Franschhoek, Chris heeded the call to head to the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Although Chris started his career at Bouchard Finlayson in 2010, he was promoted to head of production from the 2017 harvest.

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