Friday, December 19, 2008

Media release

Top 100 Status for Warwick – again

Trilogy makes history

With the recent announcement of Wine Spectator’s ‘Top 100’ list for 2009, Warwick has made history with their flagship Bordeaux-style blend, Trilogy, featuring at number 46. Warwick Trilogy scored 93 points in Wine Spectator, the joint highest score ever for a South African Bordeaux-style blend. This is also the first time that a South African Bordeaux-style blend has been included in the highly influential ‘Top 50’ on the Wine Spectator list.

Mike Ratcliffe and the Warwick team have long been champions of the Bordeaux-style blend, having produced the first vintage of Warwick Trilogy in 1986. After more than 21 years of crafting Trilogy, the ongoing accolades continue to bring recognition to this small artisanal family winery.

The ‘Top 100’ announcement shows that Warwick’s philosophy of ‘quality without compromise’ is paying dividends. Mike Ratcliffe reiterated Warwick’s adherence to excellence, saying that this accolade cemented the winery’s assertion that “we should measure our Cape wines against the toughest international standards”.
America’s Wine Spectator magazine, arguably the world’s ultimate guide to wine, uses four criteria for choosing their ‘Top 100’. The first three are: quality, volume and price; but it is the fourth, namely the ‘X-factor’, that is interesting to note. Wine Spectator defines the ‘X-factor’ as ‘excitement, the ability to stimulate and surprise… a wine that is different’. It is this enigmatic factor which Warwick finds particularly desirable.

In addition to this accolade, Warwick Trilogy appeared in influential American wine- and lifestyle magazine, Wine Enthusiast’s ‘Top 100’ Wines of the World in 2007, with a score of 95 points, in position number 5 – the highest position ever for any South African wine.

Warwick Trilogy displays a luscious, perfumed nose, which is also earthy and provocative. The palate abounds with flavours of ripe prunes, raspberry and blackberry, with hints of chocolate, nuts and mocha, and the mouth–feel is silky and soft.

Warwick Trilogy is available nationally at leading restaurants and wine merchants, and retails between R180 and R200 per bottle.

December 2008

Prepared for Warwick Estate by Warwick Estate
Hazell Public Relations Contact: Mike Ratcliffe
Tel 021 851 1563 • Cell 082 557 2968 Tel 021 884 4410 • 083 233 1685

Additional information:

Warwick Trilogy food recommendations:

Roasted veal, pan-seared steak or oven-baked aubergine. Also complements chocolate desserts. Recipes available on request.

Warwick Tasting Centre:

Open 7 days a week:
Monday to Thursday: 10h00 – 17h00
Friday: 10h00 until 18h30 in summer
Saturday and Sunday: 10h00 – 16h00
Cost: R25 per taster
Light lunches served at the tasting centre
Bookings: 021 884 3146 or


After the Anglo Boer war, Colonel Alexander Gordon, from the Warwickshire regiment, bought the farm and renamed it ‘Warwick’ as a tribute to his regiment.

In 1964, the farm, situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in the Simonsberg-Stellenbosch ward (today known as ‘Cabernet Country’), was purchased by Stan & Norma Ratcliffe, who soon realized the potential of the terroir and began planting cabernet sauvignon. These vines produced high quality grapes, which were soon in demand from wholesalers and other wineries.

Norma became increasingly interested in the making of wine and began to study the subject. Soon a cellar was in place, and in 1984, the first Warwick vintage was released (a Cabernet Sauvignon). It seemed Norma had the talent for making great wines and production soon increased. Since 1986, Trilogy, a Bordeaux-style blend, has become one of the flagships of the South African wine industry.

Today the farm is still very much a ‘family affair’. Stan and Norma’s son, Mike, a graduate of wine marketing at Adelaide University, is Managing Director of this family winery, while his sister, Jenny, a Cape Wine Master, is Warwick’s Brand Ambassador in Gauteng.

The Wines:

Warwick Estate produces seven wines: five reds and two whites:

· Trilogy: The Estate’s flagship, a multiple award-winning Bordeaux-style blend.
· The First Lady: Named after the Estate’s co-founder and first winemaker, Norma Ratcliffe, the 2007 vintage is 100% cabernet sauvignon.
· Three Cape Ladies: A Cape Blend (a wine that includes at least 25% pinotage), named after three Ratcliffe generations of women: Norma Ratcliffe, daughter Jenny, and grand-daughter Eve Ratcliffe.
· Cabernet Franc: A Cape classic.
· Pinotage: Made from old bush-vines.
· Chardonnay: Subtle wood fermentation and maturation.
· Professor Black: A well-known Sauvignon Blanc, named after the creator of a hybrid peach variety, planted where the sauvignon blanc now grows.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wine Club Garden Party 2008


Thursday, December 04, 2008

The boys were out and about in Johannesburg today celebrating the TOP 100 inclusion by Warwick Trilogy in the Wine Spectator list.

Received by email from the pub: "A day with warwick. Best. Stu, eton, steph, beanie, gk and da-rule"