It is great news that tourism into the country is growing each year. For the summer months particularly in the Western Cape, an influx of tourists is seen at some of the famous wine farms in Paarl.
Fairview Farm seems to pull visitors in like a magnet and there is a perfect explanation, not just the wine, cheese and spectacular surroundings, it’s the goats that make it an even more of a ‘must do’ destination.
Charles Back, farm owner and goat lover gives us some background into the life of his beloved furry friends.
“This farm has been home to our goats since 1981, and ever since then it has been entertainment for young kids while parents enjoy the wines and cheeses. In September our farm experiences a very special time as our nanny goats welcome their kids into the world, and on occasions, we bring them around to the ‘Goat Tower’ so that guests can welcome them too,” says a proud Mr Back.
“In the early 80s I went to a famous winery in Portugal and spotted an ancient goat tower, it must have been one of the owner’s follies many years ago in the 1700’s. It had beautiful architecture structure. I was so moved that I brought my dad a sketch of it when I came back. He laughed and thought I was completely mad, but after three days his mind changed and it was built.”
“I have great respect for my goats, not only do they create a great environment, but they are the source of the wonderful cheese that we have available in the farm store, but let me tell you it was no walk in the park to make the cheese,” he says seriously.
“When we started producing cheese it wasn’t very successful, a slight disaster, as I was only clued up on wine making and my dad asked me to take over the cheese as well. Unfortunately I knew nothing about cheese and all he gave me was a small book from France. Yes it was in French as well,” he says laughing.
“I then got it translated and I will never forget the small paragraph that explained the seven types of things that can go wrong with cheese, and I think I’m the only cheese maker to get all seven ticked,” he giggled.
“Unlike the wine industry, the cheese industry is a closed one; you cannot just walk into a cheese kitchen and ask for their recipes, it’s very secret, “he added, “So I eventually decided to get somebody in to make the cheese work. Slowly we learnt together and grew the business from a small kitchen and today we are the biggest producer and supplier of speciality cheese in South Africa.”
“Mr Back is an exceptional wine maker,” says a Sommelier at the tasting table.
Charles Back has also recently become the most awarded winemaker in South Africa.
He has been recognised in the local and international wine industry for more than 40 years.
Charles Back is the 2017 recipient of the wine industry’s most prestigious accolade, ‘The Annual 1659 Honorary Award,’ which took place on 2 February at Groot Constantia, South Africa’s first wine estate.
Fairview farm has come a long way and after years of awards and great results, Mr Back remains a very humble and grateful man.
“The success of Fairview farm brings me great joy and I wish to share this joy with visitors through experiencing the wine, cheese and love from our goats.” says Mr Back smiling.