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Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Chardonnay & Pinot Noir Virtual Live Auction

Strauss & Co Virtual Live Wine Auction – 3 April 2022 at 10h00

The Strauss & Co wine department will inaugurate Strauss & Co’s April live auction with a session on Sunday 3rd April at 10h00 by profiling a trio of prestigious producers from Hemel-en-Aarde (“Heaven and Earth”). This illustrious wine valley stretching inward from the coastal enclave of Hermanus is home to Crystallum Wines, Newton Johnson Vineyards and Storm Wines. Strauss & Co will focus on their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.

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The Hemel-en-Aarde Region

The Hemel-en-Aarde region near Hermanus is South Africa’s best example of a regional focus in wine. Specialising in fine Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production, this picturesque valley in Walker Bay is now firmly established as a top address outside of Burgundy. Vintners have produced wines here since the early 1980s, but the last decade has boomed with new wine-producing techniques, clonal selection, new players and collective focus. Of course all these factors contribute to finer wines and further international recognition.

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Hemel-en-Aarde is Southernly located, with close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. As a matter of fact, this region is one of the coolest, most maritime wine-producing areas in the country. The marginal climate as well as the the clay-rich soils are perfect for the tricky Pinot Noir variety. The region also produces incredible, classically-styled Chardonnays. 

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Top Rated

In Decanter’s ‘Top New World Pinot Noirs’ February 2020 edition, Crystallum Cuvée Cinema 2018 placed first with 98/100 points. Second was Newton Johnson Seadragon 2017 with 97/100. The Tim Atkin Report rates all three producers as ‘First Growths’.


Brothers Peter-Allan and Andrew Finlayson, 3rd-generation winemakers, run Crystallum. They focus on Burgundy varieties. Within only a little over 15 years (interestingly the first vintage was a singular Sauvignon in 2007!) this outfit has positioned itself as one of the top proponents of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in South Africa. Awards locally and internationally are in fact unrivalled, and every year sees the wines sold out every year on release.


  • 5 & 6 – Crystallum Clays Shales Chardonnay 2016 (6 x 750ml) Low – High Estimate: R6000 – R8000
  • 19 & 20 – Crystallum Cuvée Cinéma Pinot Noir 2018 (6 x 750ml) Low – High Estimate: R7000 – R10 000
  • 29 & 30 – Crystallum Whole Bunch Pinot Noir 2016 (6 x 750ml) Low – High Estimate: R6000 – R9000

Newton Johnson Family Vineyards

Based in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, it is a family affair at Newton Johnson. Started by Cape Wine Master, Dave and his wife, Felicity, sons Bevan and Gordon took over the reins in the mid-2000s. They have since been joined today by Gordon’s wife Nadia. Today Newton Johnson is world-famous for their fine Chardonnays and Pinot Noir. Along with multiple accolades, the Pinot Noir has one of the longest consecutive Platter 5 Stars in history.


  • 49, 50 & 51 – Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2017 (6 x 750ml) Low – High Estimate: R6000 – R8000
  • 56 & 57 – Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2015 (6 x 750ml) Low – High Estimate: R7000 – R10000 65 – Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Windansea 2012 (6 x 760ml) Low – High Estimate: R9000 – R12 000

Storm Wines

After working 12 vintages in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley as winemaker at Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Hannes Storm discovered 2 tiny parcels of land with particularly exceptional terroirs and planted them with Pinot Noir in 2008. 2012 saw the maiden vintage being released, produced from low-vigour, stony, clay-rich Bokkeveld (‘Buck Veld’) shale soil in the Valley ward. Hannes is now the only producer of Pinot Noir from each of the three appellations in the Hemel-en-Aarde and, not surprisingly, the Vrede is widely regarded as SA’s benchmark. Storm Wines produced just 350 cases and it offers fine aging potential.


  • 76 – Storm Wines Vrede Chardonnay 2017 (6 x 750ml) Low – High Estimate: R6000 – R8000
  • 87 – Storm Wines Vrede Pinot Noir 2017 (6 x 750ml) Low – High Estimate: R7000 – R9000
  • 97 & 98 – Storm Wines Ridge Pinot Noir 2015 (3 x 750ml) Low – High Estimate: R4000 – R6000

Your Guarantee of Excellence

In order to pass on to their clients the guarantee that these wines represent the pinnacle of rare, properly matured, fine South African wines, Strauss & Co have made absolutely sure that all the wines sold on their Fine Wine Auction come from credible provenance and were properly stored.


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