Coastal Region


The Fairview estate is situated approximately 50 kilometres from Cape Town, on the lower slopes of Mt. Paarl, and was planted with vines as early as 1699. The property was bought by Charles Back's grandfather in 1937 and was subsequently run by his father, Cyril, before Charles took charge. His era has seen Fairview emerge to become one of the country's most exciting properties, with all its production now certified as Fair Trade. Charles doesn't use the certification, however, as he wants to sell on merit.

The excitement engendered by Fairview, which holds Cru Bourgeois rating in Tim Atkin MW's classification of South Africa, was recognised in 2014 when Charles was given the 'Lifetime Achievement Award' by the International Wine Challenge. Though slightly alarmed at being given this gong when he was only 58, Charles was happy to join the likes of Hugh Johnson, Peter Lehmann and Michael Broadbent as a recipient of this award. Charles continues to invest at Fairview, and has bought, in the past few years, both neighbouring properties. New vineyards have been planted on the hills, so the wines from this fine property will continue to improve over the coming years. Given their current level of quality, this is an exciting prospect.



My inspirational vineyard

"The Beacon" block is a single Shiraz vineyard planted in 1995 on deep Glenrosa soil in the Paarl region. The vines are all dryland farmed and trained to bushvines. The ancient rocks exposed on the surface, the extreme growing conditions for the bushvines and ultimately, the picture perfect 360° view from the hillside, all contribute to the unique nature of the vineyard. The resulting wine, as I learnt in the Rhone, perfectly expresses the character of this vineyard. Charles Back