A Goat Tower is a decorative goat house, modeled on a European garden Folly, an early example of which was built in Portugal in the 19th century. A South African goat tower at Fairview Winery was built in the 20th century and became famous, inspiring additional copies throughout the world.
The first goat tower (Torre das Cabras) at a winery was built by Fernando Guedes da Silva da Fonseca (1871-1946) at Aveleda, one of the oldest and most famous wineries in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal. The second was built by Charles Back at Fairview in South Africa in 1981, Fairview Wine and Cheese farm and is a landmark in the Paarl winelands of South Africa. It is the second of five documented structures of this kind. The Goat Tower has become the farm's most identifiable symbol and aspect of their brand. Fairview has more than 750 Saanen goats on their farm, the milk from which is used to produce a range of cheeses under the farm's label. A select group of these goats have the privilege of living in the tower.
Other goat towers
Illinois farmer David Johnson built his 31-foot-tall (9.4 m) goat tower in Shelby County, near Findlay, after seeing an article on Fairview in the magazine Decanter. Another goat tower was built in the outdoor-seating area of Silky O'Sullivan's bar in Memphis, Tennessee on Beale Street. In a Waunakee, Wisconsin goat petting zoo, a goat tower was built by the Endres family. The tower was designed in a Bavarian style to match other buildings of the area. The owners claim it is the fifth goat tower ever constructed after the ones in Fairview, Findlay, Memphis, and Ekeby.
- American Society of Landscape Architects. Garden design - Volume 18, Issue 5. 1999. "...Silva da Fonseca, began developing the gardens on a grander scale and building their architectural follies in the 1820s. These are painstakingly maintained today: a stone goat tower three stories high with a spiral ramp of logs..."
- Nic Barlow, Caroline Holmes. Follies of Europe: architectural extravaganzas. 2008 Page 180.
- Erica Platter. A Strange Case of Wine. New Africa Books, 1993 ISBN 9780864862600 p.79 describes the South African Goat Tower as one of a series of 'garden follies' based on European originals.
- Aveleda website, http://www.aveleda.pt
- Penafiel: Quinta da Aveleda. Visao. April 27, 2009.
- Fairview official website http://www.fairview.co.za
- "A 'butt-er' class of goatshed". Retrieved on 12 May 2008.
- 31 Ft. Goat Tower Keeps Animals Fit, Happy Farm Show Volume 33, Issue 2, 2009.
- Construction details
- SILKY O'SULLIVAN'S: Home to drunken tower-climbing goats... seriously
- Waunakee, Wisconsin: Bavarian-Themed Business, Goat Tower
- World’s 5th Goat Tower Built