At Londolozi we realize that there are few things as wonderful as a beautiful glass of wine after watching a leopard hunt. We also realize that wine is more than an alcoholic liquid, it is a representation of all that is good with life. Wine speaks to conviviality, friendship, refinement and what the French so beautifully call “joie de vivre” – The Joy of Life.
For this reason it was important to us that our house wine be a representation of the values of quality, passion, family, and connection with nature that we hold so close. And that is exactly what we found when we sat down to our first ever bottle of Waterford.
Waterford wines have quickly become a part of the Londolozi culture. And it is not only our guests that have benefited from the introduction of this fine wine to our cellar. In truth the deliciousness of the wine was such that the Londolozi management team developed a day called “Waterford Wednesday”.In the late afternoon the Londoz team was invited to gather on the tree camp deck as the sun went down to simply come together and enjoy each others company and talk about ways we could advance our guests experience. The wonder of the wine we drank on these beautiful afternoons was like a refined fuel that infused us with a desire to improve our culture of service at every juncture. And I wont lie, I believe the Waterford chardonnay was a critical ingredient to the very high attendance these afternoons received.
Recently a team from Londolozi was 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.
The Londolozi team who were privileged to enjoy Waterford’s harvest weekend realized deeper than ever before that not only do we love this wine, but also we love what it stands for.
We also love the people who make it.
Thanks to Waterford for an amazing 2102 Harvest.
The Londolozi family.
Written by: Boyd Varty
Photographed by: Rich Laburn