Few people who were of wine drinking age in South Africa in the early 1990s are likely to be unfamiliar with the Backsberg estate – I remember them as one of the pioneers of fine Chardonnays at a time when we were still awash in a sea of semi-sweet white colombards and chenin blancs… Simon Back who writes the Backsberg’s Blog is one of the younger generation of the Back family which includes Charles (of Fairview fame) and Michael (of Backsberg), so you get a unique insight into the day to day functioning of a wine estate from somebody with real hands-on experience.
1. Where are you – in South Africa or out in the wide world?
I am writing from the metropolis of Backsberg, which is situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain facing Paarl.
2. How long have you been blogging?
I gave blogging a bash last year, whilst completing my final year at UCT (University of Cape Town). The trials and tribulations of Economics Honours and not being based on the farm, made it a bit tough to write regularly. I have started working at the farm full time as of January and since being based on the farm I have blogged more regularly. Net total – about a year of half-hearted attempts, and a couple of months of blogging with more intent.
3. What do you enjoy the most about food or wine blogging?
I enjoyed creative writing at high school (don’t tell anyone, but I was a bit of a nerd!), I think the viral nature of the internet and some of the social media stuff are very interesting and I love wine. Enter wine blogging. I am in the very lucky position that my family is involved in the wine industry and being able to bring a very personal angle to Backsberg’s Blog is cool. I don’t think you are going to catch my dad and his generation writing wine blogs, but more and more people are looking to the net to better understand wine. Thus, wine blogs matter.
4. Any downsides or frustrations?
Time is a very scare resource. Need I say more.
5. What or who are your inspirations to cook, drink and write?
I think Gary Vaynerchuk from Wine Library TV really rocks. He is really changing the wine world, at least in the online space.
6. Where and when do you like to blog?
No specific place, but early early mornings work for me.
7. What’s your signature dish or favourite wine?
I tasted some bloody good pinot noirs in the US recently. They are going wild over pinot at the moment.
8. What other food or wine blogs do you read?
Probably my favourite wine blog is the Tablas Creek Vineyard blog (California). The writing is nuanced and in depth with some great pics.
9. Favourite restaurant?
Tough one, but it has to Cafe Ganesh in Observatory, Cape Town for consistently good food, a great ambience and impeccable service. I stayed in Obs for third and four year, so it was a place I frequented regularly.
10. For my last meal on this planet I would order…
The lamb chops from Cafe Ganesh are just soooooo good.