Warwick is a truly beautiful wine estate run by the most charming and genuine people. On the day we had our amazing gourmet picnic at Warwick we also went on their Wine tasting safari. Now to get us all on the same page- this safari does not involve giraffes and lions but sauvignon blanc and cab franc grape varieties. So here’s the deal. You get in a real safari truck which seats about 12 people, your very informative guide drives you around the estate pointing out and offering interesting facts about each grape varietals on the estate.
The safari is really very beautiful offering great views of the winelands. It’s a lovely way to spend an afternoon. The tour is both interesting and hilarious at the same time as they have personified each of the grape varieties into one of the big five animals- such as the cabernet sauvignon being the lion due to its distinct and powerful flavour. One of the most interesting things I learnt was that all the wine root stocks in South Africa are actually from Texas in the USA because of a virus in our soil that only their root stock is resistant to! Amazing and insightful things! Really is a wonderful and informative tour no matter what level of wine connoisseur you may be.
You drive to a high up viewing point which is known as ‘The Penthouse’ were you get amazing 360 degree views. Just breath taking! Here is a panoramic shot from ‘The Penthouse’.
‘The Penthouse’is luckily shaded- as we were there on a scorching afternoon! We were seated along white benches overlooking the view and were presented with 3 white wines and 4 reds. Warwick is probably most famous for their red wines but I thoroughly enjoyed their whites. I’m cringing as I say this buuut- I’m not a big fan of red wine and am trying to work on that- so most of my red wine opinions will be from my fellow wine taster. If I gave you my opinions it would mostly be ‘it tastes like smoke/cigarettes/chalk’- so you really don’t want to know what I though!!
My favourite was the 2012 sauvignon blanc which had an amazing fruity nose- just delicious! And I really enjoyed tasting the difference between the 2010 oaked and 2012 unoaked chardonnay. From my red wine drinking partner his favourites were the Pinotage. [fun fact: pinotage is a South African created wine by a Stellenbosch professor by cross breeding pinot noir and hermitage] The Pinotage was smoky with lots of earth flavours.
We also tried the First Lady which is named after the winemaker and co-founder – which I think is such a charming touch. The Three Cape ladies pictured on the right with their beautiful labels is named for the three Cape Town wine varieties used namely the Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah (Shiraz). And because of all these varieties has a wonderful complex flavour with lots of fruitiness brought through by the Cabernet sauvignon.
Warwick’s wine safari is a wonderful experience- the tour is beautiful, you have an opportunity to taste many of their wines. And it is both enjoyable and educational- a real treat for anyone drinking age and up.