Backsberg Wine Estate
With a 100 year history of winemaking, Backsberg remains true to its philosophy of providing enjoyment to a broad range of wine lovers by producing wines with not only structure and finesse but also drinkability. Michael Back’s grandfather arrived in Cape Town in the early years of the last century, a penniless political and religious refugee from Lithuania. Working first as a dockhand, then as a bicycle delivery boy, he eventually bought a butcher shop at the Paarl train station, which he subsequently traded in for the farm that is now the heart of Backsberg Wine Cellars. Michael continues in charge today, joined since 2008 by his son Simon. Located in Paarl and with a Mediterranean climate consisting of mild wet winters and hot dry summers, Backsberg produces wines that are regularly rated in wine critic Tim Atkin MW's annual South Africa report. Vineyards They currently have around 80 ha under vineyard and additional satellite vineyards in two other areas. Their vineyards are located along the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountains, mid way between Paarl and Stellenbosch and some 40 minutes from Cape Town.
Blessed with a wonderful climate; full sunny days in the summer and cold wet days in the winter – a great location to ‘grow’ wine. Winemaking Backsberg’s wine making style is very much based on the kiss principle. i.e. “keep it simple stupid”. In other words, if they have not got it right in the vineyards they are not going to get it right in the cellar. Winemaking is done with as little intervention as possible, but with wine maker Alicia Rechner holding the reigns of all the components of the cellar together with the sole aim of directing winemaking to produce wines with a high level of drinkability.
Backsberg goal is to grow as sustainable as possible. Adding Biochar, charcoal manufactured to standard where it is suitable as a soil additive. It increases the water holding capacity of the soil and any fertilizer that you may add is subject to significantly less leaching from the soil due to the adsorption of the elements to the surface of the biochar particles. Backsberg is leading the way in experimenting to improve local soil conditions. Carbon offset solutions, ethical emplyoment practices and education grants and just some of the ways Backsberg is enforcing social resposnsibility.