Peter Finlayson was the very highly regarded wine-maker at Hamilton Russell for 11 years before starting the first Bouchard Finlayson harvest in February 1991.
The winery and its vineyards are situated in Walker Bay, mid-way between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas (the southern-most point of Africa). The climate is largely influenced by the nearby cold Atlantic Ocean, rendering it one of the coolest wine growing areas in the Cape. The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, home to Bouchard Finlayson, is surrounded and sheltered by a mountain barrier formed by Galpin Peak (810 metres) and the Tower of Babel (1,200 metres), which traps the cloud cover and moisture brought in from the sea by the prevailing wind. Bouchard Finlayson is greatly respected for its award-winning Pinot Noirs. The wines are far more Burgundian in style than many New World examples and are made without adjustment to sugar or acidity levels. Finlayson believes that great wines are made in the vineyard, not the winery. He is also a firm believer in restricted yields, meticulous attention to detail and a relatively ‘hands-off’ approach in the winery. This is, without question, one of South Africa's leading premium producers.