A Good Thing Happened post took me back a few decades into South Africa days .. Lynn had posted a photo of a wine bottle with a wonderful label – which she marvelled at ...
... well the “La Capra” wine with its whimsical label, as she describes it, comes from Fairview Farm Estates ... which from the early marketing ventures I remember they have continued to expand their range and develop their vineyard into what looks like a centre of excellence ...
The Backs were one of the first to offer wine and cheese tasting evenings in Johannesburg –and we booked the Back siblings as they were then to put on a tasting for us. What more would encourage us to buy ... than tasting, learning the history of the wine and enjoying a platter or two of different cheeses ... I remember it well!!
|Cape Regions ... note the 'winelands'
I’ll give you some photos and a little of the history of the estate and that back story to Lynn’s description of the label: a goat carrying a tower of things on its back ...
The Back family bought the vineyard in 1937, which had been through a chequered history of no less than eight insolvent estates ... the present owner, Charles Back, declares “he’s doing his best to break the habit!”
|Fairview estates with some of their other animals
In recent years they’ve cultivated some virgin land unearthing stone tools providing proof of the presence of hominids at the foot of Paarl Mountain some 700,000 years ago.
Centuries later, probably about 1,000 years ago, the hills became home to nomadic pastoralists from the north called Khoi – these peaceful peoples remaining until the Europeans settled in the mid 1600s.
By 1699 the first wine was made on the farm ... and the official tax records of the time reflect a farm ‘inventory’ which listed a few barrels of wine, among items ranging from bags of wheat to rifles and slaves.
|Happy workers too
Thankfully someone had the foresight to change the name of the farm to Fairview from its previous descriptive name of 'Cauliflower Fountain' (Bloemkoolfontein - in Afrikaans)!!
I’m sure I got my love of feta cheese from the Fairview tastings ... and there was an outlet in Jo’burg where we could go and buy fresh cheese and olives – delicious! – rather than from a food shop.
Back in those apartheid days ... a lot of the best produce was sent overseas ... so the fruits and vegetables weren’t brilliant – unless you grew your own.
I did a little of that and had a few fruit trees in the houses I owned ... I tried cauliflowers ... which bolted very quickly but at least were fresh.
Reading about the Fairview goats and their tower I noted that there’s another link to a holiday my mother and I had together in Portugal – inland from Porto.
|He's great isn't he ....
We stayed with friends but having hired a car were able to drive around and were sent off on various jaunts ... one of which was to the Aveleda, a winery in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal.
This was where we saw goat towers, which reminded us of the climbing goats we’d seen on our journey across the Rockies to Vancouver – another trip.
The goats are magnificent creatures aren’t they ... and do they love climbing ... the first goat tower at a winery was built by Fernando Guedes da Silva da Fonseca (1871 – 1946) at Aveleda ... Charles Back at Fairview built the second in South Africa in 1981, and there are now a few others.
The wine label tower described:
Locals and visitors gather for the ...
Cheeses - Festival La Capra in Spring
Fork - Goatshed Restaurant
Farmer - long hours and hardwork of the farmer and
that’s just to get the grapes into the cellar
Violin - contagious beat of La Capra .. violins,
accordions to drums and tambourines –
brings together a wide variety of styles, artists
Globe - travellers and trekkers arrive from all over
Wine barrels – wine flows freely, laughter fills the air and
you dance til dawn
Goat - a mainstay for the La Capra brand, and the
innovative flair of the Back family at Fairview
|Fairview estates, Western Cape
The first Charles Back, an immigrant from Lithuania, landed in South Africa in 1902 opening a butcher’s shop in Paarl, which also sold fresh farm produce ...
... from those humble immigrant beginnings, his descendants have continued on his work ethic with a spirit of endeavour and innovation, as well as ensuring that the early Charles Back’s knowledge of the vine and wine making will not be forgotten through the wonderful Cauliflower Fountain farm that was bequeathed to one of his sons.
|A Mediterranean flat bread topped with tasty morsels,
including tower blue cheese - recipes on website
Thanks Lynn you’ve opened up my memory bank to many happy times ... back in South Africa, a holiday to Portugal and another holiday with my mother to western Canada ...
|Fairview logo - recently designed ... the goat,
the hard-working farmer, the sheaf of wheat for
the bread they bake etc ...
I highly recommend Fairview as it appears
not to have changed much since my days in South Africa ... and most of the wording in this post was 'dug' from their website ... for which I thank them.
Here are some links: the Tower Label and how it came about ... you can turn the music off – which you just might want to quite quickly ...
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