Winery location: Paarl
Winemaker: Alicia Rechner
Background: This year Backsberg Estate Cellars proudly celebrates 100 years of existence and it wasn’t an easy ride as a few of us learnt from the speeches given at the recently held Centenary lunch! Started in 1916 by Charles Back, a penniless Lithuanian immigrant, the farm initially grew grain and fruit and it was only later that wine production became the main focus and eventually taking over the fruit production. It was, in fact Backsberg that pioneered the art of viticulture in the region and in 1976 the charismatic Sydney Back, then owner of Backsberg, was the first in South Africa to import grow and sell Chardonnay grapes and wine. Today, a hundred years on, Backsberg remains a formidable winery which never sits still and continues to receive accolades for both its wines and the people who run it. The farm is now co owned by father Michael Back and his son Simon, who joined the team in 2008 after finishing his business degree. Michael now looks after environmental matters while Simon manages the business.
The winemaking is headed up by Alicia Rechner who has been with Backsberg since 2012 and to celebrate the Centenary she created a six pack of hand crafted wines. We enjoyed each of the wines with a fascinating and delicious lunch menu based on dishes, from trusted old family recipes as well as inspired dishes from Michael and his wife Jill’s amazing travels over the world.
The Wines: The case of six wines, which all come beautifully labelled with the Centenary logo, consist of:
Roussanne/ Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Lovely rich palate with ripe tropical fruit and excellent balance of oak leaving a long fulfilling aftertaste
Cape White Blend 2015
Chenin dominated blend with Viognier and Roussanne the wine is full-fruited, with yellow peach flavours and a crisp appley finish.
Cape Red Blend 2015
Delicious blend of Pinotage, Zinfandel and Shiraz the wine was matured in French oak and characterised by a rich spicy nose with juicy berry flavours.
Sangiovese/ Barbera 2014
A sweet, perfumed nose which is both earthy and provocative. Ripe raspberry
and blackberry flavours abound and the mouthfeel is silky and elegant.
Grenache/ Syrah 2014
Excellent wine offering beautiful balance of sweet fruit, peppery and spice flavours with soft tannins and vibrant intensity.
Velvety soft ripe fruit and a savoury touch of oak make this an intriguing wine from the lesser-known Bordeaux varietal.
Expect to pay: The Backsberg Centenary Six Pack Selection @ R995.00 per case