Located in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley outside Hermanus, Bouchard Finlayson is known not only for its award-winning wines, but also for its focus on conservation and sustainability as a WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Conservation Champion.
In the interest of biodiversity, the boutique winery has only 25 hectares planted with vineyard, while 100 hectares remain as natural, protected fynbos that includes more than 330 plant species. Guests may book Guided Nature Walks to experience the natural beauty of the estate and to learn more about the rich Cape Floral Kingdom. The Guided Walking Trails are available throughout the year but are most popular during the Spring months when the wild flowers are in bloom after the winter rains. Expertly guided by Frank Woodvine, Bouchard Finlayson’s resident amateur botanist, a choice of three different Walking Trails are offered, ranging from 45 minutes to two and a half hours. Guided walks are subject to availability and require booking at least seven days in advance. The nature trails are also available to hikers to use (free of charge), after they have collected maps and signed indemnity forms at the cellar door.
Back at the cellar door current vintages are available for tasting, while Peter Finlayson’s ‘Peter’s Picks’ of older vintages are on display and available for sale in the Collectors’ Corner. Delicious Deli Platters can be pre-ordered to be enjoyed on the terrace overlooking the vineyards, or in the cellar next to a crackling fire in winter. Snack boxes are available for children, with colouring-in pages and wax crayons to keep them occupied. There are rolling lawns to run around and kick a ball, while the fountain in the courtyard with koi carp fish is guaranteed to entertain the little ones for hours on end.
Visitors to the estate qualify for a complimentary wine tasting of three wines when using the new WWF Champion Wine Farm Guide App that features Bouchard Finlayson alongside other environmental leaders in the wine industry. The App is aimed at wine lovers, locals and tourists who are encouraged to use the guide that recognises wineries for their commitment to conservation, responsible production practices, integrated environmental management systems, and spearheading innovations in water, energy efficiency and climate adaptation.
Tintswalo Lodges has expanded its portfolio of luxury lodges and boutique hotels that are all set in iconic locations, with the opening of Tintswalo at Boulders Boutique Villa in Simon’s Town (Cape Town).
With direct access to Boulders Beach and its world-famous resident colony of endangered African penguins, Tintswalo at Boulders operates on a bed and breakfast basis with nine double suites, as well as a children’s suite. Airport transfers, complimentary Wifi, full breakfast and afternoon canapes are included and a private chef is available on request to prepare other meals. A concierge service is offered for bookings of restaurants, snorkelling safaris and guided sea kayaking excursions.
Alternatively, Tintswalo at Boulders may also be booked on an exclusive-use basis for families and friends travelling together, either as a private villa of five suites and a children’s room, or the entire villa sleeping 18 adults and two children (minimum stay of 3 nights required for exclusive-use bookings).
On route to Cape Point, Boulders Beach is known for its pristine swimming beaches where the penguins are the star attraction. Surrounded by fynbos, Tintswalo at Boulders boasts a unique North-facing, beachfront location that offers endless ocean views. Spacious living areas lead to a terrace with a sea view pool. The luxurious suites have en-suite bathrooms and are individually decorated, some with private balconies. Paying homage to maritime history and the villa’s location in Simon’s Town, the rooms are named after famous ships, ranging from the Mayflower and the Cutty Sark, to Jan van Riebeeck’s Drommedaris.
The 2013 vintage of Bouchard Finlayson’s iconic Tête de Cuvée Galpin Peak Pinot Noir has scored a gold medal in the Six Nations Wine Challenge 2018, in a prestigious line-up of the best ‘New World Wines’.
The Six Nations Wine Challenge is a unique benchmark in excellence for the six competing nations and promotes the outstanding quality, diversity and richness of wines produced in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Canada, the USA and South Africa. With Michael Fridjhon from South Africa as Chairman of Judges, fellow judges from each competing country – Huon Hooke (Australia), Bob Campbell MW (New Zealand), Eduardo Brethauer (Chile), Patrick Comiskey (USA) and Christopher Waters (Canada), chose their best local wines to compete in a giant blind tasting of 600 wines. Each judge selected 100 wines across the 16 classes with a maximum of ten in any one class, to determine the best in their country, regardless of company size or quantity available.
Tête de Cuvée Galpin Peak Pinot Noir is Bouchard Finlayson’s Icon Wine and has been collecting awards for 21 years (since 1997). The label presents a selection of the estate’s top Pinot Noir barrels from a particular vintage as the winemakers’ opportunity to showcase the very best of their unique terroir and winemaking. South Africa’s ‘Pinot Pioneer’ Peter Finlayson explains that Tête de Cuvée’s appeal lies in its extraordinary quality and exclusivity: ‘Tête de Cuvée is a limited edition bottling of only the best Pinot noir barrels for any single vintage. It is not produced every year, but here is an opportunity to spoil and take advantage of the best of this quality fruit, which traditionally derives from the same specific terroir. It is an honour to be recognised in this prestigious competition and included amongst the champions of the New World.’
The 2013 vintage is described as a ‘fruits of the forest’ wine where the colour is deep and the body is firm and bold. ‘It is a complex wine which demands aging to develop its core of complexity with delicious raspberry, quince and blackberry flavours. This adds to the nutty tones offered by the generous compliment of wood, with a tannin-rich, but harmonious finish.’
Tintswalo at Lapalala Wilderness has opened in the malaria-free Waterberg (Limpopo province). Located 300km from Johannesburg (or 30 minutes’ flying), it is one of only two commercial lodges within 44 500 hectares of untouched wilderness. The family-friendly lodge comprises of only seven luxury tented suites with private plunge pools, en-suite bathrooms and outdoor baths and showers, and includes a 2-bedroom family tented suite to accommodate a total of 16 adults and 4 children.
Tintswalo at Lapalala Wilderness is environmentally conscious and operated entirely off the grid. The sheer expanse of the vast, game-rich reserve offers seclusion and a multitude of unique wilderness experiences for the whole family.
Rates include luxury tented accommodation, all meals and house drinks, two safari activities per day, wi-fi and laundry, as well as a Children’s Activity programme. Mouth-watering cuisine is served al fresco on poolside verandas overlooking the water hole, or on balmy evenings around a blazing boma firepit beneath the Milky Way.
The Lapalala Wilderness Reserve is one of the largest private reserves in SA and was founded in 1981 by conservation champions, Dale Parker and Clive Walker. It is recognised as a champion of sustainable wildlife conservation with the vision to leave a legacy for generations to come. Boasting classic savannah biomes, Tintswalo at Lapalala offers low impact game viewing with daily game drives and guided bush walks. Excursions are offered to the Wildlife Breeding programmes and the famous community based Lapalala Wilderness School, as well as to an iron age site to view ancient artefacts and Bushmen rock art paintings.
With 27km of pristine river frontage throughout the reserve, the Palala River presents guests with the unique opportunity to fish the crystalline mountain waters or swim in the bubbling rapids. Other relaxing pursuits include sundowner cruises and riverside picnics, birdwatching and stargazing, sleep-outs and spa treatments.
Raised above the surrounding bushveld on sprawling wooden decks, the eco-friendly lodge presents a sustainable wilderness and safari experience in the lap of luxury. Those with an adventurous spirit have the option to upgrade their luxury tent to a romantic sleep-out experience under the African skies to spend the night close to nature on a comfortably furnished, raised wooden deck in a remote part of the reserve. With little more than candlelight and the sounds of nature all around, this is an unforgettable primal experience, bringing luxury as close to nature as can be imagined.