The legacy of Backsberg Family Wines

January 5, 2024 (Last Updated: December 22, 2023)
BACKSBERG

In the heart of the picturesque Franschhoek Valley in South Africa, Backsberg Family Wines stands as a testament to a rich history, a commitment to sustainability, and a dedication to crafting exceptional wines. Founded in 1902 by Charles Louis Back, a penniless, illiterate Jewish refugee from Lithuania, the Back family business has evolved through four generations, leaving an indelible mark on the South African wine landscape.

The journey of Backsberg Family Wines spans over 107 years, encompassing various agricultural ventures from fruit to grapes and livestock. However, today, the focus is squarely on the art of winemaking. The philosophy of Backsberg is rooted in creating world-class wines sustainably, catering to a diverse audience of wine enthusiasts. What sets Backsberg apart is its commitment to holistic practices, as exemplified by being South Africa’s first certified carbon-neutral winery since 2006.

The winemaking process at Backsberg begins in the vineyard, where careful site selection and meticulous attention to vineyard management ensure the health and balance of the grapes. The hands-on approach continues in the cellar, where state-of-the-art technology is seamlessly integrated into an upcycled space. The aim is to interfere as little as possible, allowing the wines to express the unique character of the vineyards.

Quality assurance is paramount at Backsberg, starting with meticulous vineyard management. Alicia, working closely with the viticultural team, ensures that the grapes are in balance, minimising the need for interventions in the cellar. The clear direction on the desired wine styles provides a roadmap for the winemaking process.

What truly sets Backsberg apart is its unwavering commitment to sustainability. As South Africa’s only fully accredited carbon-neutral winery, Backsberg offsets its entire carbon impact, covering scopes 1, 2, and 3. This includes everything from grape harvesting to the delivery of wines globally. The winery actively engages in projects like the Kuyasa Project, the Bamboo Project, and the Stellenbosch Community Recycling project, contributing to social and sustainable endeavors.

Backsberg’s flagship wines, the “Smuggled Vines” Chardonnay and “The Patriarch” Cabernet Franc, reflect the winery’s legacy of innovation. The former pays homage to Sydney Back, who introduced the first Chardonnay vines to South Africa, while the latter is a tribute to four generations of Back Patriarchs.

Visitors to Backsberg can enjoy a tasting experience that showcases the full range of wines in a stylish setting with breathtaking views of the Franschhoek Valley. The knowledgeable and friendly staff share the winemaking philosophy, offering expertly paired menus to enhance the tasting experience.

Backsberg Family Wines has received numerous accolades for its exceptional wines. From gold medals at prestigious international competitions to high ratings from wine experts, the recognition is a testament to the winery’s unwavering commitment to quality.

For those eager to experience the allure of Backsberg wines, they are readily available through various outlets, including local grocery stores, restaurants, and online platforms. Purchases can be made directly from the winery’s cellar door or through their official website, with the added incentive of free shipping for orders exceeding R 1 000.

As Backsberg Family Wines continues to innovate, embrace sustainability, and produce outstanding wines, it stands as a beacon of excellence in the South African wine industry, inviting enthusiasts worldwide to savour the fruits of their enduring legacy.

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