Our family history in South Africa starts back at the beginning of the last century when our grandfather arrived at the shores of Cape Town as a penniless political and religious refugee from Lithuania. Graduating from working as a dockhand on the reclamation program around what today is the Waterfront, he started as a bicycle delivery “boy”, and finally bought a butcher shop at Paarl train station. The story goes that one morning someone arrived at the shop and asked if he would be interested in buying a farm. Mr. C.L. Back thought this an excellent idea and sold the butchers shop to purchase what is today known as Backsberg Estate Cellars. Farming activities in those days were mixed; some grain, some live stock, some fruit and in time, some wine grapes. Once wine making started in the early 20’s the wine was sold to the KWV. Over the years our father focused more and more on the wine side of our business. Eventually in 1969 he was offered, and accepted, the opportunity to sell the brand name in use at that time – Back’s Wines. For years after the sale he often used to say to me that that was one of his better decisions as it freed him of much debt and gave him the ability to restart. Whilst the buyers went off with the name, stock, the plant and equipment, he proceeded to register the name Backsberg. For my father this was a unique and challenging time. Our farm at that point was mostly planted to peaches, and thus he had the opportunity to build the brand without pressure to sell, as the orchards were replaced with vineyards over the next 10 years. This question led to the commencement of the family farming business, known today as Backsberg Estate Cellars.
Pumphouse Shiraz is a specially crafted cuvée based on varietal character and intensity. Black cherry, raspberry fruits and rich mocha aromas are given added complexity via subtle aniseed and vanillin tones derived from maturation and small French and American oak barriques. The palate has weight and depth due to layers of fruit tannins and sheer flavour intensity.