The 4th International Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration - 27 & 28 January 2017

Monday, 5 December, 2016
Dieter Odendaal
The Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration is a two-day event, famous around the world as a magnet for lovers of Pinot Noir and local South African cuisine. During the weekend renowned winemakers, famous chefs, esteemed media and wine lovers will gather in the Hemel-en-Aarde outside Hermanus for two days - exploring Pinot Noir,..

The Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration is a two-day event, famous around the world as a magnet for lovers of Pinot Noir and local South African cuisine. During the weekend renowned winemakers, famous chefs, esteemed media and wine lovers will gather in the Hemel-en-Aarde outside Hermanus for two days - exploring Pinot Noir, enjoying unforgettable meals and learning of and celebrating the exceptional wine, food and people of the Hemel-en-Aarde wine region.

Save the Date - Tickets on Sale now!

Tickets for the fourth annual Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration are now available.

This showcase of Pinot Noirs from the Hemel-en-Aarde is a must for any Pinot Noir lover! With wine impresario, Michael Fridjhon as host and James Dicey, Pinot Winemaker from Otago New Zealand, as guest speaker the event promises to deliver much more than in previous years. Not only will the Pinot Noir wines from 11 Hemel-en-Aarde wineries be tasted in flights of appellation, but they will also show their strength when coming up against a flight of New Zealand Pinot Noir wines presented by James Dicey. Participating Hemel-en-Aarde wineries include Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Bouchard Finlayson, La Vierge, Sumaridge, Newton Johnson, Ataraxia, Creation, Domaine des Dieux, Storm Wines, Whalehaven and Bosman Vineyards.

The two day celebration, starting on Friday 27 January at 11:30, will include a professionally facilitated formal tasting and gourmet alfresco dinner, and will once again be held at the prestigious Bona Dea Private Estate in the Hemel-en-Aarde. Here guests will be treated to welcoming drinks and canapés, a tutored tasting with winemakers, coffee & tea and a tapas buffet throughout the day. The evening will take on a festive atmosphere with live music by a top local band and a designer alfresco dinner by one of South Africa’s top winelands chefs.

The tasting presented by Michael ,, a man of Burgundy, is guaranteed to give more insight into the world of Pinot Noir. Each winemaker will also have the opportunity to discuss his/her thoughts about the grape often referred to as the ‘heart break’ grape, as well as present the beautiful classic Pinot Noirs produced in the Hemel-en-Aarde.

Guest speaker James Dicey is bound to stimulate intellectual discussion as he gives his views on New Zealand Pinot Noirs and takes guests through a flight of no less than 5 Pinot Noir wines from Central Otago. 

James is a member of the Dicey family who are co-founders of the Central Otago wine-growing cluster. As a viticulturist he currently manages 275 ha of vineyards on 35 different sites for 15 different clients of which 75% is planted to Pinot Noir.

James is also an ex-president of Central Otago Winegrowers Association (5 years), a current director of New Zealand Winegrowers (particular focus on sustainability and finance), ex-director of Seasonal Solutions Co-operative (seasonal labour provider) and a Director of Mt Difficulty Wines Ltd.


Tickets are limited to 130 guests and are available on a first-come-first-serve basis at R2 995 per person. A ticket includes:

The Friday:

  • Welcome drinks and canapés on arrival at the beautiful Bona Dea Private Estate. This event will start at 11:30.
  • A tutored tasting of Pinot Noirs from 11 Hemel-en-Aarde wineries and 5 Pinot Noirs from New Zealand. All participating winemakers from the Hemel-en-Aarde will present their own wine.
  • A tapas buffet with coffee and tea available throughout the day.
  • Active debate, knowledge sharing and discussion hosted by Michael Fridjhon.
  • A thought provoking flight presentation and speech by guest speaker James Dicey.
  • Mingling with the winemakers and other guests at a gourmet alfresco-style dinner created by one of South Africa’s top chefs.
  • Live entertainment by one of the top local musical acts.

The Saturday: Each guests can attend two slots at 10:00 and/or 13:00.

  • Visit the wineries of your choice for a personalised wine experience. Choose between a morning and lunch event (or attend both) at any of the participating wineries.
  • These are the different wine experiences on offer at participating wineries:
  • Hamilton Russell Vineyards – 13:00. LAMB SPIT-BRAAI

Anthony and Olive Hamilton Russell will host a lamb spit-braai lunch at their home, Braemar, on Hamilton Russell Vineyards. A number of other dishes will be served as well. A vertical of 11 vintages of Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot noir - 2005 to 2015 - will be available to taste over lunch and the new vintages of Pinot noir and Chardonnay, the 2016s, will be served. Availability limited to 50.

  • Bouchard Finlayson – 13:00. PINOT 'MUSICALLY' UN-PUZZLED

A select tasting of international and national Pinot Noirs, whilst enjoying an interactive musical quiz to challenge the mind and tantalize the palate. Followed by a delicious light lunch in the Bouchard Finlayson homestead cellar. Availability limited to 40.

  • Sumaridge – 13:00. PINOT ON A PLATTER
    A tasting of 5 vintages of Pinot Noir (2008 – 2012) held in our Sanctum inside the cellar with platters paired to Pinot. Availability limited to 20.
  • Storm Wines – 10:00. A WHOLE (BLIND) WORLD OF PINOT NOIR
    We’re serving up a personal selection of premium Pinot Noirs from around the world. Availability limited to 18.
  • Newton-Johnson – 13:00. PINOT NOIR UBER ALLES
    A collection of benchmark German Pinot Noirs. Availability limited to 30.

Kia Ora! Please join us for a visit to the spectacular New Zealand, Aotearoa – Land of the Long White Cloud. La Vierge winemaker, Gerhard Smith, spent 8 years crafting wine in this beautiful country. Here, in the sleepy hamlet of Martinborough, he experienced first-hand the art of crafting Pinot Noir. In this tasting he will take you on a road trip back to his Pinot roots. We’ll jump in the camper van in his old home town and try wines from 30-40-year-old vines, planted and crafted by pioneers from the area. Then we cross the Cook Straight, take some detours caused by earthquakes and volcanoes, down to the very depths of the South Island. Here we’ll look at some spectacular wines from equally breath-taking surrounds of Central Otago. 

We will taste wines that inspired him, confounded him and showed him the immense pleasure that this fickle grape can bring in the hands of a master. We’ll take along some old friends to keep us company and hopefully surprise the Kiwi’s every now and then with what we have up our tanned sleeves back here is the Hemel-en-Aarde. Appropriate cuisine will be presented alongside the wines to offer full enjoyment of the experience. Availability limited to 40.

    A decision was made in the 1930s by the newly formed Institut National des Appellations d'Origine, (INAO) that only vineyards directly touching the borders of the Chambertin and Clos de Beze would be eligible to be designated as Grand Cru in Gevrey-Chambertin, so Clos Saint-Jacque was given Premier Cru status.

Modern wine writers such as Clive Coates have written that Clos Saint-Jacques "is clearly head and shoulders above all the other Gevrey premier crus" and "like Clos-Saint-Jacques in Gevrey Chambertin, is regarded by most - and priced accordingly - as the equal of a grand cru". Jancis Robinson says that Clos Saint Jacques is "always regarded as a Grand Cru in all but name".

Kevin and Burgundy expert and Pinot-phile, Derek Kilpin, will co-present a sensational tasting of Clos Saint-Jacques 2011 from Armand Rousseau, Jean-Marie Fourrier, Louis Jadot, Bruno Clair & Sylvie Esmonin - the five owners of this famed vineyard. Discover how each producer interprets the soil and site, how this is expressed in the bottle and finally if this vineyard deserve a more elevated status.       

Availability limited to 25.

  • Creation – 10:00. KISS AND TELL

Join us for an intriguing tasting of a series of European Pinot Noirs alongside our own. The tasting will be conducted by guest sommelier Jörg Pfützner and Jean-Claude Martin and promises to surprise and delight the senses. This will be followed by a scrumptious brunch pairing, showcasing the talents of the Creation Culinary Team.  Availability limited to 40.

  • Domaine des Dieux – 10:00. COME QUICKLY, I AM TASTING THE STARS!

Many people are familiar with Blanc de Blancs and even Chardonnay driven blends, but the hidden gem of a 100% Pinot Noir Champagne is still fairly unknown in South Africa. Join our journey as we taste a range of local MCC’s and French Champagnes, all driven by Pinot Noir.  Availability limited to 25.


To secure your seat, please make an EFT direct into the Hemel-en-Aarde Winegrowers Association account and use the word “PINOT" and your cell no as reference. In addition, please email us a proof of payment to and include either a contact email or cell number so we can get in touch to secure further details such as dietary requirements and your choice of wineries to visit on the Saturday.

Bank details:

Acc name: Hemel en Aarde Winegrowers (Turnstyle 77)

Nedbank, Hermanus

Account: 1345030851

Branch: 198765

Swift code: NEDSZAJJ


Dieter Odendaal

Cell 082 659 2318

The 4th International Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration
The 4th International Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration

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