Fairview Wine and Cheese owner, Charles Back, was awarded the prestigious International Wine Challenge (IWC) Lifetime Achievement Award in London on Wednesday 16 July.
The coveted award is bestowed upon leaders in the global wine industry who deserve special recognition for the work they have done throughout their lives. Back was nominated by fellow industry leaders Tim Atkin MW, Charles Metcalfe MW, Sam Harrop MW and Oz Clarke.
The panel recognised him for his work in introducing Viognier, Tempranillo, Tannat, Sangiovese and Petite Sirah to South Africa; in pioneering the Swartland Revolution; in shaping the future of wine tourism in South Africa through the introduction of artisanal cheese and the establishment of the Spice Route Destination in Paarl; and in being the first to afford land and company ownership to previously disadvantaged wine farm workers; to name but a few of his many seminal achievements.
“Charles Back has been a huge influence on the wine industry in South Africa and around the world. Not only does he consistently produce award-winning wines, his commitment to supporting his local community is laudable. He is a true star of the trade,” says Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the International Wine Challenge.
Now in its 31st year, the International Wine Challenge is accepted as the world’s finest and most meticulously judged competition. Recent Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include the likes of Hugh Johnson MW, Sir George Fistonich, Dr Richard Smart, Miguel Torres, Michael Broadbent MW and Jean Marie Chardonnier, to name just a few.
Back accepted the award with characteristic humility and grace. "I am humbled and honoured by this prestigious award. I accept it on behalf of the 500 people who work with me. It is their collective endeavour that inspires me to do my best for them and the industry at large. South Africa has provided me the opportunity to use my love for vines and wines to add value to the lives of those who tend them,” he shares.