An Immersive Wine Tasting Experience at Creation Wines

Words: Julie Velosa

Naming a new business carries the weight of responsibility – this is how you are going to be known forever. It needs to say something, it needs to mean something. It is infinitely more tricky to come up with something groundbreaking when standing on a plot of semi-arid land deep in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley, dotted with scrubby flora and a few lone sheep. However, Carolyn Martin had vision, something that anyone who has met her will tell you she has in bucketloads. She wanted something simple and strong, and, inspired by what she could foresee happening on this piece of ground, Creation Wines was born.

Fast forward 17 odd years and what was just a vision, has been transformed into a thriving and innovative wine label that is family run and focuses on creativity and the art of experience.

Up and Over the hill of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley

If like me, you’ve done wine tasting in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley but never ventured up and over the hill, you’ve really been missing out.

Creation Wines is an exciting brand; owners, JC and Carolyn Martin, have put their hearts and souls into creating not only wines of distinction but an offering of wine pairing experiences that showcase their hard work in the best possible way.

The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists. – Charles Dickens

During a recent lunch with JC and Carolyn, one thing was abundantly apparent – experiencing their wines at their tasting room, in a relaxed and unfettered environment, is how they really want people to get to know them. And the drive for a few extra kilometers to reach Creation Wines is honestly worth it.

Pair it how you like it

No matter how much or how little you know about wine, or how you prefer to taste wine, there’s an experience offered at Creation that will fit the bill.

From a 6-course food and wine pairing designed to challenge your thoughts and entertain your palate to a simpler cheese, charcuterie or chocolate pairing. Even a gorgeous gelato pairing.

A Family Friendly Vibe

What really struck us about Creation Wines was the laid back and familial vibe. While many wine farms claim to be this, some still have their proverbial noses in the air.

When we visited, it was the first sunny winter’s day after a slew of freezing cold and miserable ones and everyone had decided to come out of the eaves to enjoy the momentary warmth. This meant that the restaurant and tasting room were both packed to the gills. Carolyn and her team took it completely in their stride though and made an effort to rearrange and accommodate guests.

We loved the fact that kids are considered too and are not an afterthought. A games room keeps them entertained while you enjoy the surroundings and a specially created Kids Tasting Platter will satisfy even the fussiest of littlies. With the inclusion of proper food such as slices of fruit, chicken strips, and honeyed yoghurt it’s smart and intuitive and definitely has a mom’s touch.

The Fynarts Story of Creation

The wine pairing offerings change every so often and currently the Fynarts Story of Creation is the signature pairing lunch. Carolyn works tirelessly to conceptualise these tasting offerings, so it’s likely that when you return, you’ll be able to experience something completely new.

Fynarts is a 6-course pairing lunch with 8 wines priced at R575 pp. When the pairing kicks off with a stunning bread course, complete with butter moulded in a unique protea shape and bread dusted with a specially made stencil, you know the detail is going to be the difference.

An Experience of Flavours and Textures

The food is carefully planned with the team of chefs onsite and while modern, is unfussy and flavourful. Standout dishes included the Broccoli and Pea soup with the most feather-light gnudi hiding in the centre. This is paired with the Creation Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon 2018.

Another favourite was the heroing of the humble parsnip in Chapter 4 of the tasting menu, with a walnut wafer and a Boerenkaas croquette. This course could have been swayed by the stunning Reserve Chardonnay, one of my favourite wines of the day.

I also have to mention the Linefish dish, served with beetroot, herb oil, and a unique beurre rouge not only for its flavour but for its pairing with Creation Reserve Pinot Noir, a wine of beautiful subtle spice and fruit.

Book your Pairing Experience at Creation Wines

Everything about Creation, not surprisingly, speaks to creativity. It’s the fabric of this wine and it’s the soul of the brand. Don’t take my word for it though, go and experience it for yourself. To avoid disappointment ensure that you call ahead and book. This is an experience that you really want to tick off your wine tasting bucket list.

Creation Wines, Hemel & Aarde Rd R320, Hermanus

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