If you only have time to visit one winery, choosing to visit Fairview Wine & Cheese would be your best decision. It was bustling with people, and the most popular vineyard for a good reason.
In front of the vineyard you will find a goat tower, which is a great photo op and a good introduction to the area. You’ll walk past a busy restaurant and through a small store (with a fantastic cheese tasting for R12), before reaching the tasting rooms.
At Fairview, you have two options for tastings: the Sommelier’s Choice (Beryl Back) and the Standard Tasting. The Sommelier’s Choice consisted of 8 cheese/wine pairing from all over South Africa. We tasted a variety of wines – Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinotage, Shiraz, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The cheese pairings were spectacular – the fig cheese blew my mind, the cranberry cheese tasted like cheese cake, the goat cheese melted in our mouths, and the bleu cheese was perfectly creamy. Our sommelier was extremely knowledgeable, quite friendly, and let us set the pace of the tasting. It is definitely worth the few extra rand for the Sommelier’s Choice.
The Standard Tasting excludes cheese and takes place in a very social atmosphere. While standing, you choose six wines to taste and have the ability to interact with those also tasting beside you (whereas the Sommelier’s Choice was more personalized). It’s a far more communal experience and offers different wine tastings than the Sommelier’s Choice. If you choose to do both tastings, know that you wouldn’t be tasting the same wines twice.
Travelers Tip: If you are going to spend you day in the South African Winelands, be sure to have a DD or go on a group tour so that you don’t need to worry about drinking to much and getting back safely.