FYNBOS HEAVEN NEAR HERMANUS
Want to do something different next time you visit Hermanus? Do a fynbos hike on the Bouchard Finlayson wine farm in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Vineyards cover only 25 hectares of this farm – the other 100 hectares are used to conserve more than 330 plant species. There are three hiking trails on the farm, ranging from 45 minutes to 2½ hours. You can hike on your own – get a map from the cellar. Points of interest are marked with numbered signs. You can also go on a guided walk with Frank Woodvine, an 89-year-old fynbos encyclopaedia. Frank will show you where fynbos is being rehabilitated, point out different kinds of proteas and sugarbushes and teach you some of the scientific names. For example, you can use the phrase “Tie-my-laces” to remember the name for the Thymelaceae family. Afterwards, taste some Bouchard Finlayson wine and order a deli platter with salami, cheese, bread, olive oil, olives and nuts (R240 for two people). Cost: R400 for up to six people; R60 per additional person; maximum 12 people for a guided hike. Wine tasting from R30 per person. You can hike any trail – confirm when you book. When? There are no set times for the guided hikes – it depends on Frank’s availability. Book at least a week in advance. If you go without a guide (no cost), you can do it during the cellar’s business hours: Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm; Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm. Where? Bouchard Finlayson is about 11 km from Hermanus, via the R320 that goes through the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Contact: 028 312 3515; bouchardfinlayson.co.za – Suzaan Hall Suzaan did a guided fynbos hike as a guest of Bouchard Finlayson.