Walker Bay, located on the southern coast of the Western Cape, is one of the most picturesque wine growing regions anywhere in the world. The region is most famous for its premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, along with a very old-world style of Sauvignon Blanc competing with the best of the Loire Valley.
The proximity to the ocean means that the vineyards are subject to heavy maritime influence – the long and sunny summers are cooled by fresh ocean breezes. It is a prolonged growing season, allowing for full ripeness as well as freshness of acidity – the hallmarks of great wine.
The region’s most notable vineyards are located in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, running east-west from the coast. Soils in the region are largely local shale and sandstone, with clay subsoils allowing for crucial water retention.
The main town in the region, Hermanus, is famous for its whale watching and has helped turn Walker Bay into a major tourism area, to the benefit of its many wineries.