Spring granted us a spectacular day to visit Warwick Wine Estate. Nestled between Stellenbosch and Paarl on the R44, Warwick is situated just off the road on the left-hand side past Laibach Estate. We had the privilege to be treated and spoiled for the day by the intoxicating ambience and outstanding personnel. From the time of arrival we were handled with the utmost care.
The day started with the five of us, together with a family of four tourists and our charming guide Lawrence, escorting us on the Big 5 wine Safari Drive. As we drove up the bumpy slopes of the vineyards, Lawrence would stop along the way at different sections of vineyard and with great enthusiasm explain and compare each of the grape cultivars to an animal belonging to the Big Five, hence the name “Big 5 wine Safari Drive”. Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino & Buffalo gave new meaning to the characteristics of the five different wine cultivars grown at Warwick. Whilst enjoying the view at the top, stretching as far as Paarl Rock and back to Table Mountain, we enjoyed a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
When we headed back down and re-entered the court yard, a table outside underneath the shaded trees on the gravel terrace was already set up for a wine tasting. This is where we were introduce to Suzette and Hendrika who conducted our tasting with 7 proudly Warwick wines. During the tasting they brought out our picnic boxes. Individually packet, one-by-one we opened the smaller boxes within the big box, revealing an array of food treats such as different pates, salads, cheeses and cold meat shared with a freshly baked French banquette. To “break bread” with love ones and good friends would be the best description of how the lunch went. Picking and eating with you bare hands whilst laughing and enjoying the tranquillity the sunny day brought.
The excellence of service provided during the drive, tasting and lunch is one that few can compete with. The everlasting smile and willingness to assist us is definitely a quality Warwick can be proud of.
Have you ever noticed their emblem? The young statuesque lady holding a cup above her head? The story behind her tale was the highlight of my visit. This “logo” if you may, features on almost everything that represents Warwick Wine Estate. It was this romantic tale and powerful lesson behind the story which inspired Mr Ratcliffe to make her part of Warwick’s legacy. Purposely, I am leaving out the details behind this story for it is one that should be re-told and experienced in person and listen to. Whilst reading about it would not justify the “awe” moment one feels.
When one thinks of the wine we drank and the tummy filling picnic we had, you wish for something sweet to end it all off… to our delight, out came 5 cups of dark chocolate and orange zest gelatos from Lecca il Gelato ice cream parlour. The good combination of the not-so-sweet dark chocolate together with the real bits of orange zest in between the creaminess did its contribution to the wonderful day which came to an end.
You can always log on to tripadvisor and read others opinions of how they found Warwick to be, its people, the degree of service, the vibe, even how some would rate the manner in which a bottle of wine was presented. However don’t even take my word for it, but only out of pure curiosity and for the love of a good time (again not mentioning the excellent wine and food)… would I most definitely recommend Warwick to be any family, lovers or friends next stop on Stellenbosch’s wine route!