Friday 22 November 2013

Cauliflower Fountain ... more commonly known as Fairview Estates, Western Cape ...

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 ...
The wizened 'old boy' goat on his tower

... 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 ...

Cheese Tasting
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.

They offer an after-school facility ... making
some children very happy
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.

Wine and cheese lunch .. that looks just delicious!

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 
                      and influences
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 ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You've certainly traveled a lot!
I've never seen goat towers before.
And that flat bread looks delicious!

Jo said...

How interesting Hilary. I hadn't heard of Fairview wines or of Goat Towers before. I thought you were going to talk about the wine "Goats Do Roam" which name I thought a fabulous take off. Wine and cheese is a fabulous combination and I often gave such parties. Not as easy these days when people are driving as well.

Love the pic of the goat with so many things on its back. Oh and the flat bread. Didn't visit a vineyard in Portugal when we were there.

loverofwords said...

Hilary, there is a book here about your South African days. My sister is planning to go there in February, lucky one! Any one thing that they absolutely should do?

Elise Fallson said...

I visited South Africa years ago and it will forever remain as one of the most amazing trips I've ever had. While I was there, I visited Franschhoek, it was very nice. I do hope I'll get the chance to visit South Africa again, and if I do, I'll visit Fairview. (:

TALON said...

Labels are so fascinating and reveal much more than expected upon closer inspection. Lovely post, Hilary!

Inger said...

What an interesting journey. It must have been strange to live in SA during apartheid though. That goat is magnificent and deserves a goat tower of his very own. Your readers are lucky you make all this come alive for us.

River Fairchild said...

You could play that "Six degrees of..." game only with goats instead of movie stars!
I love that goat. They are terrific long as you keep your clothing away from their mouths... ;)

Unknown said...

Very interesting as I know the area, and now I'm heading for a bottle of wine!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

A fascinating post, Hilary!

I've never been to South Africa, but amateur radio friends from there visited us several years ago. They didn't bring wine, but they did bring us something called "Amarulla." It's a creamy drink with a sweet taste and potent kick. Yummy stuff.

Suzanne Furness said...

Must admit I haven't heard of goat towers, but having seen your picture understand why they would find them attractive to climb. I love revisiting old memories, so glad you were able to relive some happy times. Seeing the sunshine in those photos reminds me now of warm summer days, dozing in the sunshine (with a glass of wine of course!).

Happy weekend.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alex - I haven't been to Asia or South America! The Portugal goat tower was fascinating to see .. and now this one .. and the thought of those recipes .. was difficult!

@ Jo - glad you enjoyed it .. the Goats Do Roam are part of their range of wines .. they look tasty!

Cheese and wine isn't served as much is it - yet there's lots of artisinal cheeses around now, as I've posted about in the A-Z this year.

Isn't the creative spirit great - I loved that tower and felt I had to write about it ..

@ Tasha - oh dear .. rather too many stories to tell!! I've avoided too many SA stories simply because others write about South Africa .. and I haven't been back for ages.

Your sister must visit the Cape and the winelands ... they're all good ... but if they had time and wealth .. go to the Okavango Delta and/or Namibia and they must go to a game park somewhere if they don't get to the Okavango ..

@ Elise - it's a fabulous place isn't it .. I'm just sorry I haven't been back for years .. time at some stage to make amends and see old friends. I hope you and the family can visit SA again and obviously Fairview!

@ Talon - I love wine labels .. they're so clever and I've often bought wine based on the label .. African animals appeared for a while and FOG from California!

@ Inger - living in the apartheid era was to a point strange - but much worse for the Africans, or Cape Coloureds ... I just never really understood it when I first arrived ... I learnt.

So pleased to get your comment - that's wonderful .. if I really am bringing the places to life ..

@ River - I've never played Six Degrees of ... but I had to post those pics of the goats ... and yes they do enjoy nosing around and eating odds and ends ...

@ Carole - well glad I brought some memories back for you - enjoy that glass of vino!

@ Susan - thanks so much. Amarula is a creamy drink - I'm not keen on those .. but did you know it's called the Elephant drink .. as they eat the ripe marula fruits and get drunk in charge of their trunks!!

@ Suzanne - well I hadn't realised goat towers were so rare. It was a wonderful time ... and yes some warm sunshine would be great wouldn't it ... with that glass of vino ...

Happy Weekends everyone .. cheers Hilary

Sherry Ellis said...

South Africa is a beautiful area!

Crystal Collier said...

I'm totally in--just for the cheese. ;)

Robyn Campbell said...

I want some of that flat bread! It looks so YUMMY!! Oh man, Hil. I love that logo. It tells a story. So cool. I wish I'd traveled like you. But in a way I do. Because I get to read about your adventures so it's like I went. ALMOST!

Janie Junebug said...

That's fascinating. I learn so much from you.


Annalisa Crawford said...

What a fantastic label. I love South African wine, but I don't think I've tried this one.

Murees Dupè said...

Fairview is a great farm with excellent cheeses and wines. I live only 20 minutes away and have had the great fortune of visiting the farm quite a few times. It really is fantastic.

Bish Denham said...

No fair, now I'm craving some wine and cheese. I don't have either and I'm not going out to get any as we are experiencing some very cold (for us) wet and windy weather and I don't want to leave the comfort of the house!

Bossy Betty said...

I love traveling with you!!!

dolorah said...

If its wine related, I'm interested :)


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sherry - Southern Africa is a lovely part of the world and the western Cape has some exceptional areas.

@ Crystal - you would love the cheese ...

@ Robyn - the two logos are very clever aren't they .. I love the tower. I'm just delighted you and everyone else seems to enjoy my wanderings around ... wherever I go! If you can feel the vibes - and I've brought them to light - then I'm delighted.

@ Janie - that's great .. so pleased you visit ..

@ Annalisa - I think I'll be looking for some La Capra wine now before Christmas!

@ Murees Dupe - I'm so pleased, as a South African, you agree with me ...but you are SO LUCKY living near the farm ... great endorsement to have - thank you.

@ Bish - so sorry .. I was drooling as I wrote too! I did have wine, but I think I need some La Capra! I don't blame you for staying in, warm and dry ..

@ BB - many thanks .. an interlude for you from marking grade papers ...

@ Donna - yup .. wine related that's for sure .. it's their foundation rock on which the farm was built - enjoy a glass over the weekend ..

Cheers to you all and have peaceful weekends ... Hilary

Maria said...

Hi Hilary, I love a good glass of wine and I haven't had one in ages.

Vallypee said...

Some lovely reminders of our common background, Hilary. The history of some of these estates is fascinating isn't it? A lovely post!

Unknown said...

Yes, we could do with some sun, Hilary, especially now as winter approaches. Have a happy weekend.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

First of all, I've duly noted your previous posting. And I'm actively involved in the background.

Such an informative posting. You really go into meticulous detail. If I drank, I would drink to this.

South Africa, Portugal and Vancouver. Poignant memories you share.

Thank you and have a peaceful weekend, Hilary.


Julia Hones said...

Thank you for sharing your memories along with these beautiful pictures, Hilary.
It is a very timely post. Last night I dreamed I was in South Africa and I saw lots of giraffes. It was a very strange dream...

A Lady's Life said...

That was interesting Much went on in South Africa. and yes I love goats as well. We have rams roaming wild here So interesting to see.You could wake up to find a deer or ram or moose in the back yard. lol

Lynn said...

Hi Hilary - I'm finally here. This is so funny - I left my phone at home yesterday morning. It was charging and I went off to work with out it. Not a bad thing, except that's how I receive the Google verification code when I log onto blogger or any other Google account. It comes on a text message - I can't comment on posts without it (although it's good for all day). So I was trying to comment on your wonderful post and couldn't because the code went to my phone that was happily charging at home. :) Technology, sigh. And all because someone tried to get into my Google accounts, so I must have this extra step now.

But anyway - TMI from me! I love your post and thank you for the link to my blog. We are kindred spirits, I think - we find the whimsical in everyday things. LOVE the goat on its tower. :) I would like to try that wine!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julia - how strange you were dreaming of Africa and saw lots of giraffe .. they are such beautiful loping creatures .. I had a day in a protected reserve for giraffe back in the 80s ... we did then get up close and walk with them ..

You're good at interpreting dreams .. I'm sure the revelation will come to you ..

@ A Lady's Life - yes there's lots to see in Africa. I can imagine you have wild goats, deer and moose around your property at times ..

@ Lynn - that google verification code process is interesting to know about. I must find out more.

Anyway good to see you here - I was so inspired by your photo of that goat tower and the wine - sent me back on happy memory trips to South Africa ..

If we could share a bottle of La Capra together .. I'd be delighted to have a glass or two with you .. one day, I hope.

Have a happy day and crazy Thanksgiving week ahead .. Hilary

M. Reka said...

What an interesting and beautiful journey, Hilary

Short Poems

Anonymous said...

GOATS! Besides District 9, I'm afraid I haven't had much experience with South Africa. Thanks for enlightening me!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I enjoyed your trip down memory lane. :) I would love to see a goat in the wild. I had high hopes when we were in the Rocky Mountains, but saw none.

Julie Flanders said...

Love the goats! One is cuter than the next. Fairview is certainly a much better name for an estate than Cauliflower, isn't it? That made me laugh.
Another wonderful journey with you, Hilary. I'm now craving wine and cheese. :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Fine wine and local cheeses -- is there anything better? I've never been to South Africa, but have enjoyed winery visits in many other places. Travel feeds the soul.

Mark Koopmans said...


I so *love* that a random post from a friend brought out so many wonderful memories for you:)

And, as I sit here, sipping a 2012 Clos du Bois Chardonnay, I have made a note to visit my local "off-license" (only if I asked a fellow American that, he would be confused:) and I shall enquire within if they (can) carry Fairview.

PS: I have you down for the U.K. re. the 50 States of Pray event, so ta very much, love :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Marinela - many thanks .. it's a lovely part of the world ..

@ Milo - it's fun learning about new places - well I had to look up District 9 ... but see it's a sci-fi/thriller film, but based on District Six, a suburb of Cape Town in the apartheid days.

@ Sharon - gosh didn't you see a goat in the rockies .. we were on the train .. so it was definitely more remote - Mum and I were lucky then.

@ Julie - I can't remember the types of goats .. but I do love the mixed grey faced one - though the handsome horns are pretty impressive on the other.

Glad you picked up the Cauliflower name bit .. it makes me laugh too.

@ Patricia - a day out at a wine farm is a wonderfully relaxing experience ... and you're so right - travel feeds the soul.

Thanks everyone .. and have a happy week getting ready for Thanksgiving - those of you who will be celebrating ...cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark - you snuck in as I replied to the comments - good to see you here.

Sounds like a very nice end to the day .. glass of vino from across the water ... clos du bois is a good name for a wine .. I see it's a wooded enclosure and the homestead was owned by a Mr Woods ... anyway - let us know if you find a bottle of Fairview.

OK - thanks for confirming my UK States of Pray event entry .. I'll remember to post something I hope!

Cheers Hilary

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

Fairview estates looks like a beautiful place. My cousin lived in South Africa for about a year and loved it.

Susan :)

Juliet said...

What an interesting post Hilary. I'm amazed at where a label can take you - so much history, personal and general, about a country of which I know little apart from the politics of course. Thank you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan - that's lovely that you've some first-hand information from your cousin's stay in SA .. it is a lovely place and Fairview Estates, I hold dear ...

@ Juliet - isn't it fascinating .. how the connections in the memory bank appear ... and I enjoyed taking myself back and am delighted so many seem to be happy to read all about the label!

Cheers to you both - Hilary

Rhonda Albom said...

Interesting travels. I wonder if I will ever get to South Africa, the birth place of so many of my friends. We saw interesting climbing goats in Alaska, but no goat tower :)

Linda said...

Hilary, forgive me for being absent lately. I've had a lot going on and lack focus. However, you caught my eye with the La Capra wine and that intriguing label. I had to look them up. It seems they have lots to offer so I'll see if they are sold around here. I'd love to find a good pinotage.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rhonda .. I hope you'll get to South Africa - wonderful sailing country .. as well as water sports - let alone to go on safari and experience some wild animals, while there are some left. Your friends I'm sure will be encouraging you to visit ...

Yes - climbing goats in Alaska too .. they are so nimble footed and it always seems impossible that they don't fall - but they don't. You could see the goat tower in South Africa though!

@ Linda - no worries .. there's always so much going on and I'm now behind again myself.

I hope you can find a really good Pinotage made by Fairview - and am so pleased you had a look around their website ...

... let us know please!

Thanks and lovely to see you both - Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

Yum again, Hilary. We share love for feta and goats produce some excellent feta, don't they? Why is it I always leave here hungry? :-)

I won't be blogging until Dec, but wanted to drop by and say hello.

Sherry Ellis said...

The wine and cheese lunch looks positively delicious!

Tara Tyler said...

goats goodness!!
wine & cheese & scenic views. love it! and wise name change =)
thanks for the tour & background info! always enjoy your travels!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lee - so lovely to see you and thank you for calling in .. this sounds like a welcome interlude -during this tough time for you and the family.

It'll be good to have you back blogging ..

@ Sherry - the platters look so good - sad it's coffee time for me!

@ Tara - goat goodnes: you are so right! It was a wise name change wasn't it .. but so funny to know about! So happy to hear you enjoy my wanderings ..

Cheers to you all - so lovely to see you - Hilary

H. R. Sinclair said...

Love those goat's horns!

Empty Nest Insider said...

We have dear friends from South Africa who make the long trip back every year. Fascinating goat tower! I also enjoyed reading about your travels with your mum.


Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

Nice to be here again on this Happy occasion. Beautiful pics with lot of
Happy Thanksgiving Day.
Have a wonder Time Ahead.
Have a Blessed Weekend.
Keep inform

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Holly - I love goats .. their horns always seem to show them off ..

@ Julie - how lovely that your friends can go back so often. Isn't the goat tower fun .. and so pleased you enjoyed the journeys and stories I describe ..

@ Phil - lovely to see you and thanks for all the good wishes!

Cheers to you all - I'll be back on Sunday .. Hilary

TALON said...

The story behind the label - so amazing, Hilary! Wine and cheese just make the best companions. As we have extensive wineries in this part of Ontario, it's always a fun way to spend an afternoon going to various tastings. The varieties and quality are scrumptious.

Gattina said...

Interesting memories ! Years ago I loved Vinho Verde, it was one of my favourite wines ! In Mr. G.'s family were quiet a lot of uncles who produced good Italian wine, and of course they wanted that I taste them all ! You can imagine in what state I was after the first time in Italy with the Italian family !

Unknown said...

Thanks for your encouragement Hilary, hoping to continue with my papier mâché, has been too long.

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Hi Hilary,

You continue to amaze me with the depth of knowledge and the descriptions of the places you've visited. I am reminded of how very shocked I was the first time I visited Jamaica and saw the wild goats climbing trees. I had no idea...

Mary Montague Sikes

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Talon - I enjoyed writing about the label - it brought back lots of memories. We're beginning to get more wineries here - so in the summer I think I must take myself off for a good look round. I like the innovation they bring to the land. I'd love to do an Ontario tour!

@ Gattina = yes vinho verde was a fun wine when it was popular - and I still enjoy a glass. But marrying an Italian .. I can imagine the delicious tastings you must have had ...

@ Carole - good to see you and good luck with the papier mache ... the work you were doing looked such fun.

@ Monti- good to see you .. you were next on my Feedly list .. interesting that goats climb trees too - perhaps I knew that from north Africa, but I've never seen it .. just watched them on tv.

Fun - how we've remembered aspects that have slipped from the front memory .. great to read your comments - thanks so much - Hilary

Karen Lange said...

I love your sense of adventure! I'm glad too, that you take the time to share your adventures with us. Thank you for broadening my horizons! :) You are a blessing!

Have a great week!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. I just go where I'm led .. well Southern Africa were family connections, then friends or relatives - but it's been fun travelling around.

I'm just delighted everyone seems to enjoy my 'travels and journeys' .. thanks so much for your very generous comment.

Cheers Hilary

Silvia Writes said...

You tell the best stories, Hilary. Love the inspiration seat. Looks like a place where I could sit, alone with my thoughts, for hours.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Hilary,

What lovely memories. I am so impressed by all the traveling you have done throughout your life.

These stories enrich us all. As a writer you have an ENDLESS supply of memory file to draw on for your works.

Thanks for sharing another fascinating view of your life.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Silvia - thanks so much .. the inspiration seat is in the next post - but it's a great contoured bench isn't it - a good sit in the morning sun - sheltered. Just delighted you enjoyed the story telling ..

@ Michael - many thanks .. I don't think I've travelled that much, not nearly as much as others .. but then more than some ... but I have not been to Columbia!

Perhaps it's because I draw ideas together that brings out the story line ... I'm just grateful people enjoy readings .. many thanks!

Cheers to you both - Hilary

Sue said...

I'm completely stuck on the idea of goat towers. Amazing! I love how blogging and social media lead to so many random interlinked experiences and memories.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sue .. when we went to Avelida I just loved watching the goats, but hadn't realised how special the tower was ... not speaking Portuguese - I couldn't read the guide book, or therefore buy it - but it was such a set of co-incidences .. fun to bring them together.

Thanks and lovely to see you .. cheers Hilary

Tina said...

I've never seen a goat tower...
Now I want some wine, but it's only 7:45 in the am...perhaps I'll wait ;-) Fascinating about all those winemakers not making it work...seems like a curse or something...
Looks like a lovely place. I especially love the picture of the side of the mountain near the bottom third of the post. Very inviting!
Tina @ Life is Good

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. this went into comment moderation - I just found it! Yes - a glass of vino would be good!

The Western Cape is extraordinarily beautiful .. but can be harsh .. and I suspect the previous owners back in the 1700 and 1800s were just not good farmers .. and so lost out - but could be a curse, though the Backs seem to have broken it.

It would be a fabulous place to visit .. again for me!

Cheers - I'm off for a cup of tea .. Hilary