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Charles Back honoured by the International Wine Challenge

Charles Back honoured by the International Wine Challenge

29th July, 2014

Charles Back honoured by the International Wine Challenge

We are delighted that Fairview and Goats Do Roam owner, Charles Back, was awarded the prestigious International Wine Challenge (IWC) Lifetime Achievement Award in London recently.  

Charles was nominated by fellow industry leaders Tim Atkin MW, Charles Metcalfe, Sam Harrop MW and Oz Clarke, who recognised Charles’ work in introducing Viognier, Tempranillo, Tannat, Sangiovese and Petite Sirah to South Africa, in pioneering the Swartland Revolution and shaping the future of wine tourism in South Africa. Charles was also the first to be certified Fairtrade long before the global trend was in full swing and, more recently, to grant land and company ownership to previously disadvantaged wine farm workers. His work in social development started long before this. Under apartheid, Charles was in a minority of wine producers who campaigned for and implemented better conditions for farm workers. He established The Fairvalley Workers Association in 1997, giving his employees the chance to farm their own land. As Charles put it, this work “gives a bigger meaning to what we do. Wine isn’t just about the bottom line, there’s a social dimension too”, underpinning his pursuit of social inclusion in the South African wine industry.  

Tim Atkin MW summed up by describing Charles as “anything but an establishment figure. Indeed, he is one of the great entrepreneurs and innovators of the wine world, an individual who likes nothing more than to swim as fast as he can against the tide”.  

Charles accepted the award with characteristic humility and grace, “I am humbled and honoured by this prestigious award. I accept it on behalf of the 500 people who work with me. It is their collective endeavour that inspires me to do my best for them and the industry at large. South Africa has provided me the opportunity to use my love for vines and wines to add value to the lives of those who tend them”.  

The full presentation and acceptance of this award can be seen here:
International Wine Challenge 2014 - Charles Back Lifetime Achievement Award