Each year the Vineyard Hotel hosts a series of wine-paired dinners throughout the winter months that celebrate their relationships with the Western Cape’s latest and greatest wine estates.
This year is the tenth ‘Tastes’ series of wine paired dinners and the hotel has chosen the theme of ‘knowledge sharing’ to run throughout the season. The concept was born out of the desire to expand and develop the Vineyard team’s experience and understanding around the food and wine creation process.
The Tastes dinner, taking place on Friday 6 May, will be in partnership with Warwick Wine Estate – a great friend of the Vineyard and one of their 5 wine partners. The connections between these two historic establishments are many. Not only are they both family-owned, they also have blossomed under the influence of an indomitable Matriarch – the Vineyard’s late Kitty Petousis, and Warwick’s “first lady of wine”, Norma Ratcliffe.
Norma and Stan Ratcliffe bought Warwick Estate in 1964, pulled up the not-so-successful fruit trees and planted vines. This was the beginning of Mrs Ratcliffe’s journey to becoming one of South Africa’s first ever commercially successful female wine makers. She had a natural talent for it from the get go and went on to become a member of the Cape Winemakers Guild, and the only woman to serve as Chairperson.
Another thing that Warwick is well-known for is their gourmet picnics. Visitors flock in locally and from across the globe to recline on the lawn or under the trees while snacking on cheese and charcuterie, sipping on the estate’s extensive wine selection and taking gentle strolls around the dam.
Hoping to understand more about how to curate such a picnic, Vineyard’s chef de partie, Derick Adams, spent two days at Warwick learning from the best. “It’s been a great experience, I’ve been struck by the history and the family who own and run it. Through my time in the kitchen I have had some great ideas for the upcoming Tastes of 2016 dinner that draw on the symbolic, traditional family meal. The Vineyard is also family-owned and run, and it’s this common connection that lies at the core of both of these establishments.”
Having been head winemaker at Warwick since the 1970s, Mrs Ratcliffe handed over the reins to Nic van Aarde five years ago. “It’s amazing how each wine here has a story that in some way revolves around the Ratcliffe family. The Three Cape Ladies wine represents the three generations of Ratcliffe women involved on the farm, and the First Lady rosé is obviously named for Norma. One Sauvignon Blanc is named after a Professor who formerly attempted to grow peach trees on an area of the farm. The South Easter ensured this was never a successful enterprise and they were pulled up and replaced with vines. This block and the wine it produces are called Professor Black, in his memory.”
One more thing that the Vineyard and Warwick Wine Estate share is their vines. It was Warwick who provided the hotel with their first Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon vines that were planted along the banks of the Liesbeek in 2008, helping the hotel realise its long-held dream of reintroducing a working vineyard back onto the property.
To book the Tastes of 2016 dinner
The Tastes of 2016 wine-paired dinner with Warwick, to be held on Friday 6 May, will be an extraordinary gastronomic experience that will give guests a unique taste of Warwick’s extensive cellars, paired to perfection with three delicious courses.
Tastes of 2016 accommodation special
The Tastes of 2016 dinner also comes with an incredible accommodation offer. From just R995 per person for a courtyard facing-room. This offer includes the wine-paired dinner and breakfast on Saturday morning.
This offer is subject to making a booking for the wine-paired dinner.
To book call 021 657 4500, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.