West of town off the R43, the R320 (Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Road) leads through the vineyards and orchards of the scenic Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and over Shaw's Pass to Caledon. The gravel road has some potholes and washboards but nothing terrifying. A short way down the road in a thatch building overlooking a small dam, Hamilton Russell Vineyards produces some excellent wines. The pinot noir won loud acclaim from wine critic Frank Prial of the New York Times, and is
one of the best produced in the country; it's served in two of the world's top restaurants, El Bulli in Spain and The Fat Duck in England. The chardonnay comes closer to the French style of chardonnay than any other Cape wine, with lovely fruit and a touch of lemon rind and butterscotch. Both were selected to be served at former president Mandela's 2007 fund-raiser in Monaco hosted by Prince Albert, quite an honor.
Off Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Rd. (R320), Walker Bay, 7200, South Africa