So where would this Cape Town based photographer rather be on a Wednesday morning? In his office, editing away at some work with not too distant deadlines, or heading out on behalf of his marketing team Banshee 22 and being treated to wonderful wine, delicious food and interesting companionship at one of the Western Cape’s most loved wine farms, Fairview, for the launch of their Regional Revival Range of wines.
Yes, you guessed it… Fairview Wine Farm it was. Jaimi and I were both very fortunate to have been invited to this pairing event at this beautiful farm situated in the laid back and restful Paarl Valley. A smile and a warm greeting from Fairview’s lovely Zelda Brokensha (our insider friend from Glass of Wine whom we met at the Oppikoppi Music Festival a few years ago) saw us heading excitedly downstairs into to a wonderful and newly decorated cellar, not frequented by many of this farm’s local and international visitors.
Charles Back, award winning wine producer and Fairview Farm owner, gave us some lovely historical moments, introducing us to two of the lady winemakers, one of them being Stephanie Wild, and giving us a little insight into the background and history of Fairview Farm. Handing over the conversation to Anthony de Jager, head wine maker, who has been with the farm since 1996, and who is viewed as one of South Africa’s leaders in the establishment of the older vines. Grenache and Carignan being two of these.
With an air of excitement ahead of us for the wine tasting, straight out of the barrel (I must add), we eagerly listened as Anthony explained the reasons, history and influences behind the new wines and the rediscovery of the older vines.
Here is just a brief description from the launch brochure of each wine bottle and the food recommendations we were introduced to:
Fairview Brut Methode Cap Classique 2014
The aromas of Jasmine blossoms & biscuit dominate on the nose, followed by a complex creamy palate with limes and green apples.
Food Recommendation: Seafood, summer salads and soft cow’s or goat’s cream cheese with a chalky texture.
Fairview Nurok 2015
Pale yellow/green colour in the glass with mirable plum, peach and honey notes. Subtle oak and naartjie flavours on the palate.
Food Recommendation: Hearty bouillabaisse inspired soups & ratatouille or creamy pasta dish with salmon and capers.
Fairview Caldera 2013
Deep ruby red in colour. Complex aromas of lavender, liquorices, pepper and blackberries on the palate.
Food Recommendation: A dream with Provencal-style duck leg and dauphinoise potatoes.
Fairview Extrano 2012
The palate is medium bodied, with red fruit and savoury tomato skin characters, typical to Tempranillo.
Food Recommendation: Enjoy with tapas, chorizo and spicy stews.
Fairview Homtini 2014
Aromas of red cherries, anise and dried Cape Fynbos. A fresh, medium bodied palate with complex spice flavours.
Food Recommendation: Of Italian origin, olive oil, rich pasta, roasted pork tenderloin or lamb.
Fairview La Baryl 2014
Tropical fruit flavours on the nose, with apricots & orange blossom. Full mouth feel with honey, litchi & citrus flavours.
Food Recommendation: A Fairview cheese board.
So after the wonderful tasting in the now officially christened cellar, we made our way up a spiral staircase to what felt and looks like a castle tower’s intimate banqueting hall from yesteryears. The Goat Tower, all laid out beautifully awaiting fresh palates, delicious dishes and wine pairing. The Goatshed Restaurant head chef SJ Nel, spared no talent in preparing a wonderful array of foods for us from the Fairview Regional Revival Range Menu. A picturesque opening speech from him and the pairing began, once again with the guidance, very informative words and pairing ideas of our head wine maker Anthony.
The menu we were treated to included SALAD & DRIE PAPEN FONTEIN - with Shiraz poached pear, peacon nut, Cos Lettuse, Fairview’s Roydon Cheese and Mango Atchar Aioli. FISH & NUROK - Cape Salmon, vegetable & tomato stew, Saffron broth and toasted Baguette. DUCK & CALDERA - Confit duck legs, roasted potatoes and parsnips. TAPA & EXTRANO - Salami Nostrano, Chorizo, cured ham, olives and artichokes. LAMB & HOMTINI - Fairview lamb, Polenta, peppers and thyme gravy. CHEESE & LA BERYL BLANC - With a lovely spread of wonderful cheeses, Chevre Roue, De Leeuwen, Brie de Roche and a really delicious Cheesecake to round off this delightful spread of palate teasers.
Rubbing shoulders with the likes of representative foodies from Crush Mag Online | Advertising Manager Matthew, InstaEatsCT, Ginger & Lime Marketing & Studio Assistants, from Ginger and Lime, One Ingredient’s Matt Manning, chef from Boschendal Guy Clark and MatannaKatz Freelance Creative Consultant, this was certainly no small affair.
So reviewing all of this, how can I sum up the morning we were treated to. Besides the fact of course that I would choose Fairview everyday over spending time in front of my Mac editing. (Side note to my editing colleagues, I love editing, don’t get me wrong, but I love photographing and experiences so very much more).
All in all a stunning setting and location, informative and delightful presentations, wonderful new wines to be tasted and a food menu to match each and every wine created by the greats of Fairview. Well done Fairview and thank you for treating us to a significant and historical part of your ongoing excellence.
Please have a look at all of the links below to have access to so much more information from Fairview Wine Farm.
Some Important Instagram and Twitter Handles:
Instagram: @shieldsterphoto @bansheetwentytwo @packyourcameras @fairviewwine
Twitter: @shieldsterphoto @banshee22ct @FairviewWine
Fairview Wine Farm Website and so much more information.
Adrian Shields Photography: on Facebook, visit and LIKE my page to follow my work.
Photography Courses On Offer: on Facebook, visit and LIKE my page to receive course information.
Banshee 22 on Facebook
Please contact me for any shoots you may be considering.