In 2002 Swiss-born Jean-Claude (JC) and South African-born Carolyn Martin (née Finlayson) took up the challenge of establishing a winery in a remote corner of the Walker Bay Wine Region. Their 40 hectares of undulating land on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge had never been planted to vines before, but recognizing its potential, they set to transform it into a model wine farm.
Situated high up the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge near Hermanus, Creation’s vines climb the steep hills of Babylon Toren Mountain to an altitude of 350 metres above sea level. During the annual growth period, temperatures rarely exceed 30° C, while the cool night index throughout the year is 12° C lower than the day-time temperature. These factors result in full-flavored grapes of outstanding quality, allowing for the creation of complex wines with length and depth.
Creation is a member of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) and committed to conservation by implementing long-term biodiversity as well as sustainability programs. The farm also complies with the sustainability guidelines laid down by the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) scheme and their recent releases boast the proud ‘green seal’. They have also pledged support to the Landmark Foundation and are officially predator friendly. Working hand in hand with nature, Creation is one of only nine wineries in South Africa to have received the coveted EnviroWines accreditation.
They also support local business and invest in extensive employee training and development programmes. In recent years they have focussed their social responsibility efforts specifically on the establishment of educational facilities in the local community, where there were none before.
While establishing his career in Switzerland, JC honed his skills on Pinot Noir and is therefore familiar with the challenges faced when cultivating this grape. Before planting his Pinot at Creation he meticulously considered aspect, soil and row direction and selected only virus-free clones (Dijon 115 and 777) for their suitability to the terroir. His Pinot vineyards are planted on south-easterly, easterly and north-easterly slopes.