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Warwick Wine Estate’s proprietor celebrates milestone

July 14, 2009

In June, Warwick Wine Estate hosted an intimate event at the luxuriant boutique hotel Ten Bompas.

Close friends, contemporaries, key media- and industry-related representatives were invited to pay tribute to Norma Ratcliffe’s quarter-century as a winemaker and pioneering matriarch. The venue’s opulence was host to the who’s who of the South African wine and food community to celebrate the milestone in South African winemaking’s evolution.

Norma Ratcliffe is the proprietor of Warwick Wine Estate, and is one of the inaugural female winemakers in the country. She was also the first woman member, and thereafter Chairperson, of the Cape Winemaker’s Guild, and is currently “Keeper of the Key”. Her petite frame is the very embodiment of the cliche, “Dynamite comes in small packages”!

Norma is often referred to as the “Grande Dame” of South African wine, and she presented a typically unconventional and dynamic tasting of her painstakingly-selected handful of milestone wines – her highlights from the last 25 years.

The tasting was spiced up with anecdotes and recollections, which kept afficionados and guests entertained for the entire evening, and proved testament to this personal milestone.

Warwick Wine Estate

Captions for the images above are as numbered:

1. Carrie Adams and John Fraser embrace each other warmly amidst the conviviality and intimacy of the event.  

2. Georgina Haupt scrupulously studies one of the milestone Warwick wines.  

3. Janice Fridjhon and Norma Ratcliffe share a special moment at Ten Bompas. 

4. The acclaimed Ratcliffe clan – Jenny, Mike and Norma toast Stan, Norma’s late husband. 

5. Christoff van Staden, Cathy White, Carrie Adams and Peter Aucamp enjoy themselves at the illustrious Warwick affair.

6. Chris de Klerk and Peter Aucamp toast a successful and momentous event. 

7. Old friends, Jenny Ratcliffe and Marilyn Cooper, reminisce about  the evolution of Warwick.

8. Len Maseko, Mike Ratcliffe and Riekie Strijdom get well-acquainted at this special event.

9. The milestone wines, representative of some ‘highlights’ in Norma’s enviable career, were on display.   

10. The formidable mother-daughter duo, Norma and Jenny, pour the delectable, award-winning Trilogy. 

11. Owners of the avant garde Ten Bompas, Peter Aucamp and Christoff van Staden, enjoy the tasting. 

12. ‘Grande Dame’, Norma Ratcliffe, and wine-guru extra-ordinaire, Michael Fridjhon, enjoy a glass of Professor Black on arrival.

For more information about Warwick Wine Estate, visit their site.

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