• info@myboozykitchen.co.za
  • Worcester, South Africa
Latest News
Fairview Cheese Dominates 2024 SA Dairy Championships with 11 SA Champions and 6 Qualité Awards

Fairview Cheese Dominates 2024 SA Dairy Championships with 11 SA Champions and 6 Qualité Awards

Fairview Cheese, one of the most recognisable dairy brands in South Africa and currently the largest producer of specialty cheeses in the country, proudly took the stage at the 2024 SA Dairy Championships to receive a total of 11 SA Champion titles for category winners and six prestigious Qualité Awards — the competition’s exclusive mark of excellence.

This year’s event marked the 191st edition of the SA Dairy Championships, the largest and oldest dairy competition in Africa, which celebrates the excellence, diversity and economic significance of South Africa’s dairy sector. With over 1 000 dairy products from 78 producers, the event showcased the finest in dairy craftsmanship. Fairview took top honours with the highest number of Qualité Awards, the esteemed emblem of distinction.

These six Fairview cheeses will soon be proudly sporting the much-desired Qualité black and gold badge of honour:

  • Woolworths Cambozola (A high fat semi-soft white mould cheese with blue veins adding a subtle pungent, classic flavour — made from Jersey cow milk)
  • Woolworths Medium Fat Cream Cheese (A plain medium fat cream cheese — delicious as a spread or dip or use it for baking — made with Jersey cow milk)
  • Woolworths Raspberry Roulade with Pink Peppercorns (A medium fat raspberry cream cheese roulade dusted with pink peppercorns — made with Jersey cow milk)
  • Woolworths Cream Cheese Tomato & Herb (A medium fat tomato and herb cream cheese made from Jersey cow milk)
  • Woolworths Brie de Roche (A creamy rustic flavoured Brie made with a blend of Jersey cow and goat’s milk — ripened for a minimum of five weeks)
  • Woolworths Roydon (A creamy rustic flavoured Camembert made with a blend of Jersey cow and goat’s milk)

Charles Back, third-generation owner of Fairview, expressed his pride in the team’s accomplishment, “Congratulations for continuing to the do the Fairview name proud! While our journey began way back with my humble attempts to produce goat’s cheese, our commitment to quality and our unique philosophy have remained unwavering.

We combine traditional European recipes with a distinct South African flair, using only the finest sustainably sourced ingredients. This meticulous approach ensures that our products consistently meet a very high standard. As evidence of this, we are proud to be the leading supplier of Woolworths’s specialty cheeses, six of which clinched us top Qualité Award honours at the 2024 SA Dairy Championships.”  

Charles concludes, “On your next trip to the winelands, be sure to visit us at Fairview in Paarl. Pop into our tasting room and deli where all our cheeses are available for purchase. And look out for our award-winning cheeses at Woolworths — and also at Pick ‘n Pay, Checkers, Spar and other independent stores nationwide. To LIFE… and cheese and wine!”

THE FAIRVIEW CHEESE STORY

It all began in the late 1970s when Cyril and Beryl Back, the late parents of Charles, went on a trip to France and fell in love with the richly flavoured goat’s milk cheeses produced on a number of the wine farms they visited. Upon returning to Paarl, they began investigating the possibility of starting South Africa’s first goat’s milk cheesery.

After much investigation and a few fortunate coincidences, the first Saanen goats arrived at the farm in 1980. Charles was tasked with producing Fairview’s first few batches of cheese, however, the skill of producing delicious goat’s cheese was not easily learned.

Over time both the size of the herd and the range of cheeses grew. Things began to improve when Fairview enlisted the assistance of Michel Agostinelli, a passionate Italian who had settled in South Africa after arriving as a POW during World War Two.

Together with Agostinelli, Charles began to develop the cheesery and the processes and disciplines involved.

Cyril Back was soon satisfied that the quality of the Fairview cheeses was good enough to serve and they were offered along with wine tastings in the tasting room.  Goat’s milk cheese, however, was a tough sell in South Africa in the 1980s as it was not a product that consumers were familiar with at the time.

One thing about goats is that they really like to climb. Inspired by the first known original goat tower Charles saw while visiting Portugal in the early 1980s, he had the genius idea to build a climbing tower at Fairview for his goats. The rest is history. Today Fairview’s Goat Tower is a Cape Winelands icon, adored by children and adults alike.  

In 1990 the cheesery took a significant step forward. Louis Lourens joined Fairview as head cheesemaker and Jersey cows’ milk cheese production was introduced. Fairview has always focussed on innovation within the dairy industry, with a keen interest in sustainability and specifically renewable energy.

In 2019, as part of Fairview’s responsible approach to business and the preservation of natural resources, the cheese factory partnered with Emergent Energy and Absa Bank to provide a comprehensive solar solution for the factory. With 924 solar panels installed on the factory roof and a 305kWp system, Fairview is able to produce around 430 000kWh of clean energy annually. Solar energy presently accounts for close to 30% of Fairview’s energy needs.

Fairview processes thousands of litres of both Jersey cows’ milk and Sannes goats’ milk daily, seven days a week. As the cheesery has expanded to facilitate efficient production, it has  maintained the hygiene and control standards required from a world class facility.

Access is strictly controlled and the cheesery is not open to the public. The Fairview Cheesery has full Food Safety System Certification 22000 (FSSC22000) with audits taking place annually. The factory also has Kosher and Halaal certification and all Fairview Cheese is made with non-animal rennet.

From humble beginnings, the Fairview Cheese Company experienced an extraordinary development from a family cheesery to an award-winning industry leader. Today, creating over 50 different cow and goat’s milk artisanal cheeses — including white mould, blue mould, feta, cream cheese styles and a plant-based range — Fairview is South Africa’s leading producer of artisanal cheeses.

cheese board with a selection of fairview cheese bread and fruit

A VISIT TO FAIRVIEW

Situated on the slopes of the Paarl Mountain offering ever-growing visitor experiences and eponymous vistas over fields and vines to Table Mountain in the distance, Fairview is one of the most popular destinations in the Cape Winelands internationally known for its wine, cheese and tourism. Fairview is a working farm, housing a collection of micro-businesses all sharing a common goal — to create artisanal and sustainable produce, with a focus on fine wine, artisanal cheese, free range meat, baked goods and plant-based products.

fairview farm

Stop by the Fairview Tasting Room on your next visit to the Cape Winelands. Specially curated cheese and wine tastings are on offer seven days a week, 363 days of the year (closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day). Pop into the ever-popular Deli which brims with a diverse selection of home-made local products and sustainably farmed foods.  End with lunch at the Goatshed, a country-style eatery where fresh and homemade is always better, and of course, don’t forget to say hello to Fairview’s furry mascots at the Goat Tower.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Want More Boozy Articles?
Sign up below and get the latest booze news straight to your inbox!
We respect your privacy.