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Fairview `Beacon` Shiraz

Paarl, Coastal


Fairview is situated on the lower slopes of Mount Paarl, which is more sheltered from the moderating maritime influence than nearby Stellenbosch. Vines were planted here as early as 1699...

The property was bought by the grandfather of current owner Charles Back in 1937. Fairview has a reputation for consistent quality across a range of innovative styles, using both classic and unusual varieties. Charles leads the field in South Africa in matching varieties to specific sites. The Fairview estate now has a total of 586 hectares of vineyard over four appellations: Paarl (350 hectares), Swartland (115 hectares), Darling (86 hectares) and Stellenbosch (35 hectares). This vineyard ownership in so many different regions allows Charles to produce a wide range of wines, from grapes grown in optimal conditions.

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34° South and 19° East marks the site of a most unique vineyard. The Surveyor General’s trigonometric beacon rises from the top of a mound of metamorphic stone which was formed many millions of years ago. In primordial times, the area was an ancient ocean bed. Now, un-irrigated bush vines, planted in 1995 by the Dreyer family who have been growing grapes here since 1705, grow between large, flat, grey shale stones. Their roots penetrate the rock in search of nutrients and moisture. The vines are pruned for low yields, with the deep Glenrosa soils naturally encouraging the production of small berries but also retaining moisture well so the crop ripens early. The vineyard faces north-west. 

Vintage information

November was hot and dry, but mild temperatures until the end February ensured that ripening was generally slow, resulting in good phenolic ripeness at lower sugar levels for this dry land vineyard block.


Grapes were harvested fully ripe at 24.6° balling. The fruit was brought to the cellar in small lug boxes, destalked and hand sorted over a sorting table. All raisins, under-ripe berries and stalks were removed. The sorted berries were sent straight to 600 litre open French oak fermenters and allowed to ferment naturally. Manual punch downs (pigeage) were performed three times daily. Post fermentation maceration lasted for four days. Wine was basket pressed and malolactic fermentation was completed in 80% new French barrels. The wine was then racked, lightly sulphured and returned to 40% new French oak, with the remainder in 2nd and 3rd fill French oak barrels. This vintage spent a total of 20 months in oak.

Tasting Notes

Bold and austere, with firm tannins and good acid indicating maturation potential. Shows ripe dark fruit, with a savoury edge.

Vintage information

Vintage 2010
Grape varieties 100% Syrah/Shiraz
Region Paarl, Coastal
Winemaker Anthony de Jager
Consultant Winemaker Charles Back
Alcohol (ABV) 14.5%
Acidity 5.9g/l
Residual Sugar 3.3g/l
Wine pH 3.65