Stellenbosch, South Africa
See Warwick wines we sell
Warwick Estate is situated in the Muldersvlei Bowl area of Stellenbosch, an area that has become famous for the production of high quality wines. The farm was originally part of the eighteenth century farm "De Goede Sukses" meaning Good Success, granted in 1791. Just over 100 years later, in 1902, after the Boer War, part of the farm was purchased by Colonel William Alexander Gordon, who renamed his portion of "Good Success" in honor of his Warwickshire regiment. The farm operated as a fruit farm until Stan Ratcliffe bought Warwick in 1964. With the knowledge that winemaking in the Cape has spanned more than three centuries and the suitability of local conditions for the growing of vines, he was quick to plant Cabernet vineyards in the famous Muldersvlei Bowl of Stellenbosch.
Significant investment in viticulture and further plantings continued and Stan's wife Norma took over the reigns as winemaker. Their love of Bordeaux wines influenced the planting of two other classic French varieties, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. With these in hand, Warwick produced their first vintage in 1984 which positioned them at the forefront of fine wine production in South Africa.
Norma's love for Bordeaux wines has shaped the philosophy which prevails today; the crafting handmade wines, meticulous clonal selection, a controlled quality crop and minimal interference in the natural production process. Because of her contribution to the South African wine industry, Norma Ratcliffe has earned the affectionate nickname of the “First Lady” of South African wine. She pioneered the path for female winemakers in the Cape, many of whom she mentored, and she was the first woman to become a member of the Cape Winemakers Guild, among many other achievements.
The torch has been passed to the next generation, and after completing a Wine Marketing degree at Adelaide University in 1999, son Mike Ratcliffe took over as the Managing Director of Warwick. Daughter Jenny studied cooking at Cordon Bleu in Paris and currently lives in Johannesburg and is the PR and Communications director for Warwick.