The Winemakers



Pioneering Pinot in a special valley

“Each new wine is like a young progency, offering promise, evoking a range of emotions, without any guarantees. I get to be involved in the initial development, giving my all. But, once bottled, and released into the world, I have to stand back and let go, watching it develop and make its mark or accept criticism in the face of its exposure.”

Peter Finlayson is renowned for pioneering South African Pinot, as well as putting the Walker Bay wine region on the map. He was the first winemaker in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and has been at Bouchard Finlayson since its inception in 1989. His dedication to making the finest wines is illustrated across the wine range, with emphasis on his Pinot Noirs.

Having graduated as an Oenologist from Stellenbosch University, he furthered his studies at Geisenheim in the Rheingau. After a three year stint at the fledgling Boschendal winery, he took up the challenge to set up the first winery in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley. His success has been recognised globally, with a string of awards for his achievements with the Pinot Noir grape and many other mastered varietals found at Bouchard Finlayson. Today, his wines are considered a prized addition to any collection.

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New blood with experience in old-world winemaking

As winemaker, Chris has brought his own ideas and philosophies to enrich the processes and approaches at Bouchard Finlayson. His ideology has perfectly complimented Peter and they make a balanced team. Chris is a decorated and qualified winemaker in his own right. Having grown up in The Cape’s golden triangle of wines, Chris has always had a love of agriculture and viticulture.

He achieved a degree in Oenology and Viticulture from Stellenbosch University, and his practical experience has taken him around the world, where he has assisted in cellars in California, France, South Africa and New Zealand. He worked for a winery in Franschhoek for 5 years and received a 5-star Platter award for both his 2008 and 2009 MCC Blanc de Blanc and again in 2011. He has brought his new ideas and pursuit of excellence to the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and has become an integral part of the wine team over the past five years.

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caring for nature

Conserving the Cape's rich floral kingdom

nature walks

Guided by our resident botanist

tasting notes

How to match wines and more

The Bouchard Finlayson WSET Scholarship