Waterford wines have quickly become a part of our culture. The wonder of the wine we drank on beautiful afternoons was like a refined fuel that infused us with a desire to improve our culture of service at every juncture. And, I think that the Waterford chardonnay was a critical ingredient to the very high attendance these afternoons received.
Recently we were kindly invited down to South Africa’s finest wine region Stellenbosch to enjoy the festivities of the annual Waterford wine harvest.
Waterford is one of South Africa’s most beautiful wine estates. Nestled among the cape Fold Mountains, with manicured grounds and rich soils the vineyards are a wonder to walk around. The buildings are beautiful with strong influences from rural Provence; pale yellow walls merge seamlessly with trimmed lavender hedges. But like all places it is the people that imbibe the space with its unique character, warmth and charm.
The Arnold and Ord families have filled the entire estate with soul and warmth. This is not an estate where wine production is a functional pastime but rather a place where the creation of wine is an extension of the passion of the people who make its production possible. Khalil Gibran said, “When you are born your work is put in your heart” . I didn’t fully understand that statement until I met Waterford’s wine maker Kevin Arnold.
The harvest weekend is a living monument to what Waterford is all about. It is a weekend where friends and family come together. Where the picking of grapes takes people back to the earth. It is also a time of gratitude and thanks to the creator for the wonderful bounty we enjoy. All of this takes place with ease and tasteful attention to detail that is central to the Waterford experience.
Written by: Boyd Varty. Photographed by: Rich Laburn