Maybe I should change the name of this blog from ‘A pic a day’ to ‘Several pics now and then’. I’m surprised my lack of entries hasn’t elicited complaints from certain quarters 🙂
We were recently invited to Backsberg by Simon Back when Sarah and I were jaunting around Franschhoek. It had been a while since I sampled some of this fine wine which used to be part of my staple diet, and years since I visited the farm so I was quite excited. A cheap added thrill was being given the access code for the main gate because it was after hours – it felt just right to see that gate swing open just for us.
After a brief hullo and goodbye to Mr Back Senior who is shy and doesn’t need gushing females after years of producing some of the finest wines in the region, we settled under trees on the lawn with Simon and several bottles. There was the Family Reserve blend, the Pumphouse 2008 Shiraz and the 2010 Beyond Borders Pinot Noir – so named because the grapes come from further afield, beyond the farm. I’m no wine connoisseur so I won’t go into noses and tinges and other such descriptions – they were just bloody fabulous and I got to take home what was left of the Family Reserve.
I’m definitely a Backsberg fan again. And I enjoyed the story of how the farm came into being, many generations ago – from Lithuania to Paarl, from pogroms to wine, fascinating.
The midges or some such little early-summer late-afternoon creatures were attacking my ankles to the extent that I was covered in very itchy bites the next day. Sarah wasn’t, however, so now I know what it is that causes this devastation on my ankles at the start of every summer: an allergy to some flying insect and its poison. So, to get away from the midges, I left Sarah and Simon chatting, and took a walk in the garden.
What a beautiful one it is too! This is the perfect time of year for all gardens so they all look good but this one lends itself to photo after photo. It’s not enormous, but as I walked along the paths I kept seeing something new and more lovely. I envied the several houses that look out on all this beauty. Actually, I envy anyone who lives on a wine estate but some are more enviable.
So, here are some photos of the beautiful gardens at Backsberg. The grounds staff are obviously very good at what they do because all the plantings, around the buildings, around the lawns and paths, were lovely without being too fussily maintained.
I haven’t forgotten the access code, but I doubt I’ll need it when I take guests there on my Winelands Tour.