Warwick Wine Estate was known as the farm ‘Good Success’ from 1791 until 1902. 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 Warwick was purchased by Stan and Norma Ratcliffe. The Ratcliffes recognized the quality of the terroir and began planting Cabernet Sauvignon, selling grapes to wholesalers and other wineries until 1984 when the first Warwick vintage was released. Norma Ratcliffe was the first female winemaker in South Africa and her winemaking talent was quickly recognized around the world. Estate Reserve (known outside the U.S. as Trilogy) soon became a paragon of the South African wine Industry. The farm today is still very much a family affair. In2001, Stan and Norma’s son Mike assumed the role of Managing Director.
Region: Stellenbosch, South Africa
Year Founded: 1964
Proprietors: Mike Ratcliffe
Winemaker: Nic Van Aarde
Size of property: 110 hectares (272 acres)
Amount of Property Planted: 56 hectares (138 acres)
Terroir: The soil type in the vineyards is primarily Hutton and Clovelly. Summer temperatures range from a high of around 28ºC (82ºF) to a low of 16ºC (61ºF) with an average annual rainfall of 500mm (20 inches). Vineyards are on gentle, south-facing slopes. Warwick has implemented an environmentally-friendly biological approach to its vinegrowing.
Annual Production: 300 Tons
Varieties Cultivated: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinotage, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay
Organic/Sustainable/Other Certifications: Biodiversity and Wine Initiative member.