26 Dec Looking Back on 2017 | By Charles Back
When someone asks you to look back on the year, it is often hard to summarize all the activities and experiences in a few sentences. The year bumbles along month to month, and suddenly, as if caught completely unaware, Christmas decorations are adorning all the malls and it is time to put in your annual summer vacation. But if you really take a moment, sit down and reflect, it can be a particularly rewarding experience. What have we achieved in 2017? I’ll tell you one thing that springs to mind: PLENTY!
From the wine side, this year we launched our brand new Fairview Wine Club. This was something that never existed at Fairview before, and in the space of a few short months, I was amazed to see the positive response and growth that we experienced. It is clear to me that there was a desire to be part of the greater Fairview family, and I am so happy we are finally able to offer this to all our members. For me, the key was the simplicity, as all it takes to join is to purchase 12 bottles. Thereafter, you get access to all the membership benefits for one year – not too shabby if you ask me!
Our wine and cellar team are always hard at work, and this year, I believe they really reaped the fruits of their labour, receiving a flurry of accolades and awards. Here is our awards honour roll and highlights from the year gone by:
Tim Atkin’s ‘Medal of Excellence’ South African Report 2017:
Fairview Bloemcool Vis & Tjips 2016 – 94
Fairview Bloemcool Di’Tjie 2016 – 93
Fairview Caldera 2015 – 90
Fairview Drie Papen Fontein 2016 – 90
Fairview Homtini 2015 – 90
Fairview Nurok 2016 – 90
Platters: 4.5 Stars
Fairview Caldera 2015
Fairview Drie Papen Fontein 2016
Fairview Eenzaamheid Shiraz 2015
Fairview Extraño 2014
Fairview Homtini 2015
Fairview Jakkalsfontein Shiraz
Fairview La Beryl Blanc 2016
Fairview Nurok 2016
Fairview Petite Sirah 2014
Fairview Stok-By-Paaltjie Grenache 2015
Fairview The Beacon Shiraz 2015
2017 National Wine Challenge Top 100:
Fairview Eenzaamheid Shiraz 2014
Fairview Extraño 2013
Fairview La Beryl Blanc 2015
2017 Shiraz SA Wine Challenge Top 12:
Fairview Beacon 2014
Fairview Swartland 2014
Winemag Signature Red Blend Report Awards 2017:
Fairview Extrano 2013 – 90 points
Winemag Sauvignon Blanc/ Semillon Report:
Fairview Drie Papen Fontein – 92 points
Fairview’s Goats Do Roam Rosé 2017: Gold Medal
Paarl Wine Challenge 2017:
Fairview Eenzaamheid Shiraz 2014
Fairview Brut – Bronze
2017 Wine Label Design Awards
Fairview Bloemcool Range – Silver
Fairview Extrano – Bronze
Review on our Fairview Rose Quartz by Matthew Jukes, voted most influential wine writer in the UK by OLN in 2011
“Made by the massively talented Anthony de Jager, this is the finest rosé I have ever tasted from the Cape. Made from a blend of Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault, with a careful touch of old French oak barrels to add a creamy texture, this is a pink grapefruit and watermelon-kissed wine with serious appeal and a magical touch”
Speaking of awards, we handed out some rather shiny Goat Trophies in September, marking the start of Spring and the annual La Capra Goat Run. This year, the Goat Run added even more festivities to the agenda with the introduction of a lively festival. The festival offered a colourful array of fun activities and food stalls for both spectators and runners, including a range of delicious treats from the farm, such as freshly baked patisseries (think croissants and danishes), health smoothies made from Fairview’s full fat yoghurt and locally-made, artisanal ice cream. The event was very well attended, and marked the pilot run of one of our latest concepts – Goat Yoga!
Yes. You read that right! Goat Yoga is now a trend. After first gaining traction in the USA, the animal therapy-meets-exercise concept has been grabbing the attention of everyone, with videos going viral across social media and the key message being about having fun, getting out in nature, bonding with an animal and getting exercise. Due to the overwhelming response to the pilot session, we have decided to open the paddock to the public over the summer, and what a great success we enjoyed! It was an African first as well as a Fairview first, and we hope it allowed for all participants to relax. After all, the world is so serious all the time, that sometimes it’s necessary to take a deep breath, stretch and let a baby goat nibble on your hair.
Then onto the Goatshed, which hosted their annual Charity Dinner in October. The dinner is unique in its approach, in that the full ticket price goes to charity. Nothing is deducted, no remainders sent off. Instead, we’re proud to offer every cent earned to a well-deserving organization, with this year’s beneficiary being the The Athlone House for Abused Women and Children. On the night, we earned over R100 000. This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for our Goatshed Manager, Shannon, as well as Executive Chef SJ, Head Chef Heila and our incredibly kind and passionate Goatshed team, all of whom stayed behind to work on the night for free.
Finally, on the 3rd November we officially opened our newest venture called Back’s. This has been a culmination of close work with my long-lost cousin Raphael Bak. Together, we envisioned providing fresh, local produce and value for money prices to our community. After a lot of brainstorming and effort, we acquired a central spot along Main Road in Paarl, and hope to welcome plenty of feet through our door in the season.
When all is said and done, 2017 has been an adventure – as all previous years before it – and I look forward to seeing what 2018 has to bring. Happy Festive season to all – and enjoy your New Year!