Friday, September 25, 2009

Zelma Long Selected for Top Honors at ASEV’s annual meeting in NAPA

DAVIS, CA, April 2, 2009

Each year, extraordinary contributions are made to the artistry and science of enology and viticulture. The American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) announced that its two highest honors, the Merit Award will be presented to Ms. Zelma Long at the Society's 60th Annual Meeting to be held in Napa, California, from June 23-26.

Zelma Long, a world renowned winemaking master will be honored with the ASEV's Merit Award. Her copious accomplishments are impressive and revered throughout the industry. She was the first woman in the industry to run both the winemaking and business side of a major winery and led Simi Winery to prominence serving as its winemaker/vice president, president and finally CEO in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, she is the owner and winemaking partner with her husband, Philip Freese, of Vilafonte (Wine Estate) in South Africa as well as owner and winemaker of Long Vineyards in California's Napa Valley. Long has received national and international awards throughout her career for her leadership positions in wine industry organizations, which have included: founding president of the American Vineyard Foundation, chair of the American Viticultural and Enology Research Network (AVERN), founding president of the Alexander Valley Winegrowers, founding member of the North Coast Viticultural Research Group, ASEV Board director and member of the local Board of the International Women's Forum. She will receive the Merit Award on Thursday, June 25.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Zelma Long, winemaking partner and co-founder of Vilafonté vineyards in
South Africa has been awarded the ASEV American Society of
Enology & Viticulture's prestigious annual MERIT award for her distinguished
career and contribution to the industry. The Vilafonté tem are very proud.
Pictured is Zelma with Mike Silacci, the President of the American Society
of Enology and Viticulture, and also Winemaker and General Manager of Opus
One (and a friend).
Congratulations Zelma!!


Paying tribute to valued WINE CLUB members and celebrating Norma Ratcliffe’s 25 years of winemaking 


Warwick Wine Estate recently hosted a glittering and glamorous bash at Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Restaurant, at hotelier-extraordinaire Sol Kerzner’s, One&Only at the V&A Waterfront. This glitzy bash commemorated matermalias, Norma Ratcliffe’s, quarter-century milestone as the inaugural wine-maker and proprietor of the Estate: a noteworthy and significant landmark which bears testament to the resolute bedrock on which the brand is built. At the same time, the influential estate honoured prized members of their ever-expanding Wine Club. Aficionados, friends and family alike attended this swanky affair, toasting Warwick’s largely unrivalled success, as well as paying homage to pioneer and matriarch, wine-maker and style-director, the iconic Norma Ratcliffe. 


The choice of venue was fitting, as Warwick was in the proverbial spotlight earlier this year at the glitterati-strewn, paparazzi-fuelled opening of the One&Only, as Three Cape Ladies was the only red wine poured at this auspicious affair. And while the launch event boasted a guest list of stellar-studded, Hollywood A-list and haute couture fashionistas, Warwick Wine Club hosted their own celebrated A-List and rolled out the red carpet … literally. 


After guests had swanned about and sampled delectable canap├ęs, marketing guru and Managing Director, Mike Ratcliffe, welcomed guests and introduced his mother Norma who invited patrons to taste her hand-picked ‘milestone’ wines. Magnums of Trilogy circulated…Norma, the inaugural Cape Lady, played the perfect hostess…and even Professor Black mouthed a few platitudes before retiring to complete his thesis.  The room resonated warmth and evinced a surreal enchantment which permeated throughout.   


Vintages ranging from 1988-2006, of Warwick Trilogy, the Estate’s Bordeaux Blend flagship,  are available on the Hotel wine list, including an 18 litre bottle of the 2005 vintage: currently the only South African wine in the Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of the World (announced at the end of 2008). The One&Only is the inaugural Hotel globally to offer a vertical selection of Warwick Cabernet Franc, personally selected by Norma Ratcliffe herself. These wines are to be accompanied by hand-written tasting notes compiled by Norma and the winemaking team at Warwick.


It was a night to remember.


September 2009.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The wines are being prepped for the online SMS & TWITTER wine tasting...

More than 30 people from the wider wine industry have assembled at the
Vilafonté winery to learn about 'Social Media' & how it can be applied in
the wine industry. The afternoon is building a solid base for the
culminating event - an online, Twitter, Facebook and SMS enabled wine
tasting which will reverberate all around the world. The tasting is being
facilitated by Fred Roed from www.worldwidecreative, Jonathan Cherry from and the incredible team from - the
indominitable pioneers of cell phone marketing in South Africa. If we
achieve nothing, we will at least have some fun doing something that - we
don't think - has ever been done in South Africa before. Follow on Twitter