Sunday, September 20, 2009


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 canapés, 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.


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