Fairview Western Cape Town Wine Cheese and Goats
South Africa’s Western Cape is home to the country’s best winelands and many famous wine farms dating back to colonial times, when the Dutch and French settlers planted the first vineyards. One of these historic wine farms is Fairview – founded back in 1693 – which today continues to produce some truly outstanding wines and cheeses in the Paarl area of the Western Cape. A visit to Fairview is an absolute must if you’re on vacation in Cape Town!
Part of the novelty and charm are the resident goats that live in a tower on the farm, complete with a spiral staircase that they love to run up and down. Fairview offers a unique wine and cheese tasting experience, as well as a rustic, farm-style restaurant called The Goatshed. Here are some recommended tasting notes and pairings for Fairview’s excellent South African wines and cheeses.
1. Fairview Chevin Black Pepper & Paprika
This soft and creamy cheese, made from 100% goat’s milk, has an outer coating of freshly ground black peppercorns and zingy paprika spices. The mildness of the cheese balances out the spicy pepper and paprika, and makes for a tasty addition to any cheese board.
Wine Pairings: Fairview Eenzaamheid Shiraz
Named “Solitude” (Eenzaamheid in Dutch) Shiraz after the extremely isolated wine farm on which it was produced, Fairview’s Eenzaamheid Shiraz is rich and has a bouquet of blueberries, violets, and cinnamon spice in addition to flavours of black pepper and dark fruit.
OR La Capra Shiraz
A subtle oaky flavour and juicy red berry overtones.
2. Fairview Chevin Garlic & Herbs
Another delicious 100% goat’s milk cheese, flavoured with garlic and dried herbs. This seemingly simple cheese was awarded the South African Dairy Championships Product of the Year in 2009 – the first goat’s milk cheese to ever win the award.
Wine Pairings: Oom Paget Semillon
Fairview’s “Uncle Paget” Semillon is a crisp white wine with a pale yellow hue, golden highlights, and aromas of zesty lime, green apple, and pear. It pairs especially well with Fairview’s Chevin Garlic & Herbs, as well as seafood and fish dishes.
3. Roydon Camembert
This cow- and goat’s milk camembert is Fairview’s signature cheese. Made in the traditional French method, from a secret recipe, Roydon Camembert ripens from the outside inwards, and is best enjoyed around 10 days prior to its best before date.
Wine Pairings: Fairview Viognier Special Late Harvest
This unusual yet delicious sweet wine has a soft, lush character with a heady bouquet of litchi, pear, peach, and lemon blossoms. It has a pleasant pale yellow colour with light green tinges, as well as peach flavours and sweet floral notes. Refreshing with its complex flavours, and perfect for a summer cheese-and-wine tasting.
This rich, full-flavoured cheese is made from 100% goat’s milk, with a slightly nutty taste and a firm yet creamy texture.
Wine Pairing: Fairview Petite Sirah (Durif)
An opaque, bold, and full-bodied red wine, Fairview’s Petite Sirah (known also as Durif) has strong aromas of black olives, dates, and tea leaves, with robust tannins and flavours of vanilla and spices. The intensity of this wine is complemented beautifully with the mildness of Fairview’s Crottin cheese.
5. Fairview Feta
Flat-packed and stored without brine, Fairview’s “Fresher Feta” is made from Jersey cow’s milk, and it has a characteristic creamy-and-crumbly texture as well as a tangy taste.
Wine Pairing: Fairview Sauvignon Blanc
A cheerful, light green coloured wine with crisp aromas of tropical fruits, Fairview’s Sauvignon Blanc has zingy citrus flavours (lime and grapefruit) and a medium acidity. It goes well with both the Fairview Feta and Fairview Crottin cheeses.
6. Vintner’s Brie
The perfect addition to any cheeseboard, Fairview’s Vintner’s Brie is a soft, white mould cheese with a characteristic creamy mushroom flavour. It is best served at room temperature, when optimally ripe.
Wine Pairing: La Capra Chenin Blanc
A soft, pale green in colour, Fairview’s La Capra Chenin Blanc has a distinct fragrance of winter melon and white blossoms. Tropical fruits and a crisp acidity can be experienced on the palate.
7. White Rock with Dried Cranberries
This delightful dessert cheese is a mild, semi-soft white cheese with added dried cranberries for a tart, fruity flavour.
Wine Pairing: Goats do Roam Rosé
The bright pink hue and red berry aromas of Fairview’s Goats do Roam Rosé – sweet strawberry and tart raspberry – make this wine a delight to drink. It is dry enough to enjoy with the sweet White Rock dessert cheese, and other Fairview cheeses should you wish to enjoy a cheeseboard together with friends.
You can experience a wine and cheese tasting at Fairview Wine Farm, with a selection of 6 wines paired with 6 – 8 cheeses (both goat’s milk and cow’s milk varieties). You will be guided by a knowledgeable wine educator who will give you tasting notes for each wine and each cheese. Alternatively, you could visit The Goatshed Restaurant and order a bottle of wine with a cheeseboard (or if you’re in a group, try ordering several different glasses of wine with a cheeseboard to share).
Fairview Wine and Cheese Farm is located in Paarl, and is most easily accessed by car. If you’re based in Cape Town city centre, you can hire a car and drive out to Paarl, which will take approximately 45 minutes. Alternatively, you could hire a shuttle bus for larger groups and visit as part of a packaged winelands tour. The choice is yours! There are many other wine farms nearby, so you may even consider accommodation in Stellenbosch, a small student town that is famous for its wine.