<p>In 1997 Charles Back, having established Fairview in Paarl as one of South Africa’s most successful and popular wine estates, bought a farm called Klein Amoskuil near Malmesbury in the Swartland region north-west of Paarl, then rather better known for its wheat than its wine. It was the next step in applying his philosophy to ‘go where the terroir is’.<br />
In just two years he transformed the place. Under performing Chenin Blanc, Cinsaut and Pinotage vines were grubbed up, though select blocks of 40-year-old Chenin and Pinotage, which promised – and subsequently delivered – distinctive wines, were retained. Warm-climate reds, many new to the Cape and historically at home in the Rhône, South of France and Italy, were established: Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Barbera, Tannat, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Tempranillo and Carignan. Also some Viognier (as seasoning for the rich, full-blooded Rhône reds Back was convinced the vineyards would deliver); the port variety Souzão and the Cape’s own warm-blooded red grape: Pinotage. All in all: some 140 hectares.</p>
<p>Back bucked viticultural trends of the time, adopting practices dictated by the immediate environment: dryland (un-irrigated) bushvines, with just four to five fruiting spurs per vine. He chose to be satisfied with the resultant low production levels of around three to four tons per hectare:</p>
<p>‘There was not enough natural moisture to sustain more… so be it!’<br />
In 2005 Spice Route Winery acquired vineyards in the cool hills outside the town on Darling near the Cape’s west coast. Sauvignon Blanc has found its home in these hills, with their deep red oakleaf soils. In addition, the Spice Route team has Semillon, Chenin Blanc and Shiraz vines here as well. The additional 80 hectares provide fruit for our wines as well as some of the bottling under Back’s Fairview label.</p>

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  • Suid Agter Paarl Road Paarl 7646 South Africa
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