One of my fondest memories of my student days was travelling to Cape Town and spending a couple of days on the wine route. Back then, there were far fewer estates to visit and you really only had two routes to choose from – the Stellenbosch or the Paarl route – not like today when there are so many routes to choose from. But as a students, our prime concern was always value for money: which estate would offer this in most abundance? And there was always only one answer: Fairview. Where else could you taste wine and cheese, and get your picture taken with tower-climbing goats? My student heard glowed with pleasure when I heard that Fairview was coming on board as an Indaba sponsor!
Established in 1693, Fairview Wine lies on the south-western slopes of Paarl in the Cape of Good Hope. Purchased by his grandfather in 1937, Charles Back is the third generation of the family to produce wine at Fairview. The vineyards are located in the leading coastal grape-producing areas of the country, where geographic and climatic diversity allows for the crafting of a truly distinctive range of wines – the perfect complement to Fairview’s award-winning artisanal cheeses. With its iconic goat tower and residents ready to welcome guests 363 days of the year, Fairview is one of the most frequently-visited tourist destinations in the Western Cape, and offers something for the whole family. For as little as R25, you can taste the daily selection of artisanal cheeses, plus six wines of your choice – and with dedicated hosts at each tasting ‘pod’, you can be sure of friendly and professional service to guide you through the wide range of quality wines. For those with more time, try a leisurely, tutored tasting in the Beryl Back tasting room, where you’ll enjoy 8 wines, a selection of cheeses and olive oils. If you’re tempted to take our produce home, simply pop into the lively deli where you can pick up a variety of innovative cheeses, freshly baked breads and other delicacies. If you’re able to entice the kids away from the playful goats, you can end your visit to Fairview with a delectable Mediterranean-style lunch at the Goatshed Restaurant, whilst enjoying superb views of the Paarl valley and, of course, the famous goat tower. No trip to the Cape Winelands would be complete without a visit to the vibrant and ever-popular Fairview Wine and Cheese.
In addition to their fabulous existing range of local and international award-winning artisanal cheeses, Fairview have also introduced a new Mediterranean style cheese. Shelly’s Labneh is a soft white, medium fat style cheese made from strained yogurt which gives it the distinguished acidic taste. It has a very smooth consistency, much like cottage cheese, and a very versatile personality. It can be used as a substitute for cream cheese or cottage cheese. Use it as a spread on bagels, or a dip for your favourite fruit, vegetables or crackers. It also makes an excellent base for your cheese cake and used as a dressing, it will give your salad that extra kick. Or try the new Fairview Labneh with garlic and herbs or Labneh with Za’tar.
Fairview will be sponsoring two types of cheese from their extensive range as well as a bottle of their La Capra Sauv blanc in all delegate goodie bags. To learn more about Fairview Wines and Cheese, check out their website, or follow them on Twitter (@FairviewWine), Facebook or Pinterest.
In 1997 Charles Back, having established Fairview in Paarl as one of South Africa’s most successful and popular wine estates, bought a farm called Klein Amoskuil near Malmesbury in the Swartland region north-west of Paarl, then rather better known for its wheat than its wine. Says Charles: ‘I wanted to break away from the estate concept, which constrains a property owner, not necessarily blessed with the best viticultural land, from exploring the wine styles and levels of quality he aspires to. For me the quality of the wine became more important than the name of its source.’ The relaxation of legislation confining wine growers from producing in designated areas gave the entrepreneurial Back free rein to set out and find new vineyard sites to expand beyond what his inherited farm Fairview could offer in terms of new styles of wine, particularly reds, expressive of the Cape’s Mediterranean climate. He found it in the combination of mixed clay-gravel laterite and deep, red, decomposed granite soils of Klein Amoskuil.The Spice Route Winery has found its signature wine style in the warm rolling hills along the Cape West Coast. Matching traditional practices in the vineyards with modern, minimalist approaches in the cellar, they produce exceptionally ripe and deep-flavoured wines.
Spice Route Destination is the home of Spice Route Wines and has something on offer for everyone, from 3 restaurant on the farm to beer, wine, chocolate and tea tastings. Centuries ago, anyone with a desire to explore exotic flavours and experiences would have needed to wait for the seasonal return of the traders travelling the Spice Route. Fortunately, these days a journey of discovery is right on your doorstep, with the modern-day Spice Route in Paarl. The restaurants include Spice Route Restaurant; La Grapperia Resturant (apas & Pizzeria); and the Barley & Biltong Emporium (a beer garden with hearty bar food and platters). Other attractions include a chocolate & gelato bar; a beer brewery; a glass-blowing studio; a grappa distillery and, of course, a tasting room for the wines!
Spice Route will be sponsoring and hosting a hands-on food and wine pairing workshop at the Indaba and we can’t wait to see what they serve up! Read more about Spice route on their website or follow them on Twitter (@SpiceRoutePaarl) or Facebook.
And if the prospect of this amazing wine has not yet persuaded you to attend the indaba, have you seen our funky venue? And have you heard that we will be auctioning off some truly amazing prizes in a charity auction to raise funds for the South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind, our chosen charity for 2014? Want to buy a ticket? Click here to register now. See you at the Indaba!