01 May 2008

A Pleasant Reunion at Fairview

Fairview Winery must be on the ‘must-see’ list of every visitor to the Cape with the international fame of the Goats do Roam family of wines and Fairview Cheeses, and the place keeps expanding to cater for them all. Car parks have replaced vineyards, the small tasting counter is now a grand tasting hall and this year there is a new restaurant bistro offering a full meal service in addition to the cheese tasting counter.

Owner Charles Back is one of the Capes most innovative wine producers and I popped in to see what was happening. As wandered into the tasting room a door opened, a young woman stepped out and cried out my name. I don’t know who was more astonished. Anita Streicher and I had last seen each other several years ago when we were working together teaching classes for the Cape Wine Academy in London. I knew she’d returned home to South Africa to work for Makro’s wine department in Johannesburg as I received her informative Makro newsletters.

Now here she was at Fairview in charge of the newly opened Beryl Back Room. This is a separate room where visitors can take their time and enjoy a personalised seated, tutored tasting of wines paired with Fairview cheeses, away from the hubbub of the main tasting room. The room named after Charles Back’s late mother and is furnished with a selection of antique and unique furniture collected by the Backs during their travels.

I couldn’t leave without experiencing the room, but I had been tasting wine all day so, much to Anita’s disappointment, I asked to taste just the following wines.

Fairview Pinotage 2007
WO Coastal 14.5%abv

Upfront soft berry fruits , with some firmness on the mid palate and bright spices on the finish. Anita told me the wine had been aged 10 months in French and American
oak barrels so it must have been just bottled and I think with a little bottle age
it could be a cracker. Cellar door price 50R

Fairview Pinotage/Viognier 2006
WO Coastal 14.5%abv

Fairview were the first to co-ferment Pinotage with a little Viognier, there’s 4% Viognier in this and that adds a lot. The wine is richly coloured and tastes invitingly soft and ripe with aromatic medium bodied fruits. Anita tells me this wine is very popular in Sweden. Cellar door price 60R

Spice Route Pinotage 2006
WO Swartland 15%abv

A lovely wine, smooth, ripe and spicy with blackberry flavours and a sweet medium length finish. Cellar door price 80R

Fairview Primo Pinotage 2003
WO Paarl 15%abv

A single vineyard, now with some age on it, and it is very very good. Beautiful balance, sweet ripe and spicy with plum and berry fruits. A snip at the cellar door price of 110R

My partner was tasting her own choices and had become enamoured of a sweet Special Late Harvest Viognier so when Anita told her it was only available at the winery she ordered a case for home delivery. And two weeks later a courier was knocking at our door with a sweet reminder of our visit.

When you next visit Fairview it is well worth upgrading to the comfort of the seated tasting in the Beryl Back room. And do please give my regards to Anita.

1 comment:

  1. We had lunch at the Goatshed at Fairview in Feb - it remains one of my favourite estates - can't believe how much it's changed since I used to visit as a student in the late 1980s!