Spoilt for wine choice

There are some 600 wine producers in the Western Cape and hundreds of cellar doors and tasting rooms to choose from. But I doubt that any can offer a tasting of ‘unusual’ grape varieties that we can at Fairview. This is because we have a commitment to innovation across our business, and one of the most basic initiatives is the exploration of the potential of lesser known grape varieties. We have now put a selection together in an interesting tutored tasting, where we hope to learn about our tastebuds as well as the grapes in the bottle.

The reliable wine choices

As many wine fans will know, the majority of wine sold in South Africa, and around the world, falls within a range of six or seven varietals. Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz probably cover most of it, with Pinotage also included in South Africa. Consumers know these varietals and enjoy the wines, so understandably producers provide what the consumer wants. At Fairview, we also produce the varieties mentioned above, and between them these wines account for a very large proportion of our sales. However, we also feel that it is important to try new varietals; grapes that may not be popular or widely known; bottles that may require a bit more explanation before consumer picks it up off a shelf or orders it from a winelist. A couple of weeks back we were fortunate enough to have Cathy Marston of Food24 visit the farm, and she reaffirmed the importance of innovation in her article.

So with that in mind we have decided to introduce an alternative tasting option at our Beryl Back Tasting Room. The grape varieties that are included are those that you may well have heard of, but never tried. Here’s an opportunity!

Unusual and innovative grape varietal tasting

This tasting option has been included in our Beryl Back tasting room at the Fairview farm and comprises 8 lesser known Fairview wines with 8 of our cheeses. This elegantly appointed tasting room offers seated, tutored tastings for smaller groups and includes our Fairview olive oils served with fresh ciabatta.

Anita Streicher is the manager of this tasting room and has put together her first tasting line up which includes Viognier, Semillon, Sangiovese, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Tannat, Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah. Over the next twelve months, these will alternate with a few other ‘alternative’ varietals in the Fairview portfolio, including Barbera, Tempranillo, Grenache and Roussanne, as these varietals enter our range. Most of these lesser known wines are made in fairly small quantities and are not widely available. As far as we know, no other wine estate can offer such an ‘alternative’  arietal tasting experience and we are proud of that. You may not love them all, but we hope that they’ll get you thinking!

Our aim is to encourage newer wine drinkers to be adventurous in what they taste and drink, as well as to showcase some interesting options to our regular supporters. The tasting is priced at R45 per person. We also have a discounted 6 bottle mixed case of these wines, to take home and share with your friends, so don’t forget to ask about that!

Anita recommends reserving a table for the Beryl Back Tasting Room, so as to avoid needing to wait. Personal service and relaxed tasting is key, so she does not overbook tables. You can contact the tasting room on 021 863 2450.

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