“Holrug gery” is one of my favourite Afrikaans phrases. It means that a subject has been discussed so many times that, if it were a horse, it would’ve had a back like Paris Hilton’s mattress – worn out and ridden till it’s hollow. Fairview might just be one of those subjects. It almost seems to be ubiquitous in the Cape winelands – you can’t but hit it somewhere along the line on a trip there. But with good reason. With a tasting room, shop and deli, restaurant, beautiful views and shady gardens and lots of room for the kids to play and goats to stare at, it is a great place to take the whole family for an afternoon.
The tasting room at Fairview is beautifully appointed with various “pods” with a dedicated host at each so that guests get loads of personal attention. For R25.00 (US$3) you can taste whatever cheeses they have available on the day plus 6 wines which you may choose from their massive selection. The Beryl Back tasting room is a beautiful, private space where, for R60.00 per person, up to 8 guests can enjoy wines paired with cheeses and olive oil. The estate has vineyards in Paarl, the Swartland, Darling and Stellenbosch, so you can get completely plastered whilst pretending that your copious consumption of all the wines is simply an attempt to compare the various terroirs.
If you are a cheesy person, then Fairview is where you should come to die. The selection on offer is just mind boggling and there are constantly new, innovative cheeses to try. Goats’ milk, cows’ milk, washed rind, white rind, blue cheese, cream cheese. It almost reads like a Dr. Seuss book. There are cheeses flavoured with dukkah, lavender, herbs, spices and everything else you could think of to add to a cheese (and some things you never would’ve thought of). The shop & deli offers a cheese only tasting for R12.00. Six to eight Jersey cows’ and goats’ milk cheeses are available for tasting and the selection varies slightly from day to day. Goatshed artisan breads which are baked daily on site, preserves, sauces and other condiments as well as various olive oils are on sale. The Lemon & Lime as well as Red Pepper jelly from Zest are utterly divine!
The residents of the goat tower that welcome you when you walk into Fairview (the residents welcome you, not the tower (although a talking tower would really draw in the crowds! So would a talking goat for that matter.)) are synonymous with the estate. As much as I’d love to talk about goats, there isn’t space, but by all means read more here!
The Goatshed Restaurant is a veritable celebration of all that is cheese and Mediterranean gastronomic goodness! Cheesecakes, cheese plates, and cheesy exotic mushroom lasagne share space on the menu with filled foccacias, slow braised springbok shank, and prawn risotto amongst lots of other goodies. Breakfast is served till 11:30 (cycle in and present your helmet to get a 15% discount) and lunch until 16:30. If it’s chilly out, the warm, wooden interior is the perfect place to sip a coffee and on one of the Cape’s copious completely glorious days then the deck with its 180 degree view of the Paarl valley and mountains is just as perfect for sipping lots of bubbly. Wines on offer are from the Fairview, La Capra and Goats-do-roam range and are sold at cellar door prices. If you’re a softy then a selection of 200ml carafes are also available. A weekly bread market is held on Saturdays.
Fairview is open seven days a week from 09h00 to 17h00. Last tasting vouchers are sold at 16h30 (standard tasting) and 16h00 (Beryl Back tasting). Closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Getting there: From Cape Town on the N1:
Take exit 47 (Stellenbosch/Wellington/Klapmuts)
Turn right towards Klapmuts
At the four-way stop turn left onto R101
After passing Simonsvlei on your right, turn left into the Suid-Agter Paarl Road (follow signboard to Fairview)
Fairview is on your right hand side, about 3km along the road.
Telephone: +27 21 863 2450 / Goatshed: (021) 863 3609