The Goat Tower in Fairview
South Africa is full of curiosities. I found this place thanks to Atlas Obscura, a website committed to searching for unusual places, and one of my favourites. They have a map with 11,000 unique and obscure places to visit around the world. I have made a goal for myself that I will visit the ones in South Africa and Namibia while I'm still here.
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The goat tower is remarkable for many reasons: the first one being something out of a fairytale. I can't help but think of all the fairy tales I read when I was a child. The first goat tower was built in Portugal in the XIX century, and the second one, this one right here in South Africa, was built after Charles Back, owner of Fairview Wine and Cheese went to Portugal and got so inspired by it that decided to build his own. There are 2 more towers in the whole wide world, one in Norway and the other one in the USA.
As it is well known, goats like to climb, so they actually climb the tower and peek through their windows. The tower is a landmark in the Paarl Winelands, which brings lots of people to the Fairview Winery. I found it amusing to see the goats hanging out around the tower and the little bridge, all of this build only for their entertainment. We even saw one posing for pictures!
They use the goat's milk to make cheese and to be served at their restaurant, or at cheese tastings. Of course, they make their own wine and have a wonderful deli filled with wines, cheeses and all kinds of deliciousness; some of their wines are unique in their kind, like the Pinot we bought that is purely South African. I liked their sauvignon blanc; I love to drink it with bites of white chocolate, ah! too good.
This was my first experience trying goat cheese. I remember being icky about it when I was a child - there was a neighbour who would bring goat milk and cheese to my grandma - but this one was very creamy, a little bit rich, but edible. We also tried blue cheese, camembert and brie, and some of their own original creations like cream cheese with sun-dried tomatoes. All these fanciness inspired me to learn how to make a cheese platter, so stay tuned! We might learn a thing or two together ;)
The Paarl Wine Valley is a beautiful place. We took the scenic route on the way there, down the N7. The road goes through many little towns like Philadelphia, and farms, so it is not busy and you won't be stuck in traffic. On the way back, we came through the Durbanville Hills, another region full of wineries! It is not so far from the Cape Town city centre so you can take an uber and be there in about 1 hour, but, if you take that route, be prepared for some traffic.
We are currently in winter so you can admire all the farm fields covered in green. If you have been to South Africa and know of more unique spots, please let me know! I'd love to check them out.