Glenelly Grand Vin Chardonnay and Glenelly Glass Collection Chardonnay

Glenelly, the exemplary Stellenbosch wine estate with a French touch, has released the latest vintages of its two different styles of Chardonnay: Glenelly Grand Vin Chardonnay 2013, an elegant yet opulent wooded Chardonnay made in a complex mineral style with lots of lemon zest for freshness, and Glenelly Glass Collection Chardonnay 2013, unoaked and lively and packaged with screwcap closure to preserve the fresh citrus notes. According to Glenelly winemaker, Luke O’Cuinneagain, “The 2013 harvest at Glenelly produced wines of distinction, with great balance and complex aromatics”.

The Glenelly Grand Vin Chardonnay 2013 has a wonderful bright crisp colour. The captivating nose displays vibrant lemon and lime zest, with gorgeous vanilla butterscotch notes and hints of apple, pear drop, lychee and rose, which overlay the minerality. The palate is lush with the creamy texture underpinned with beautiful mineral notes, refreshing crisp acidity, perky citrus notes and hints of toasted almond and vanilla. The finish is fresh, firm and long with distinctive minerality. This wine is a perfect match for a buttery piece of chicken, pan-fried fish, salmon and shellfish.

The grapes were whole-bunch pressed. After a brief settling, the juice was barrel fermented naturally in new and 2nd-fill 500 litre barrels for ten months, including nine months on the lees. No bâtonnage was done in order to retain as much freshness as possible.

The previous vintage of this highly-acclaimed Chardonnay was rated 92 points in USA wine critic Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, and 90 points in USA’s Wine Spectator.

The Glenelly Grand Vin Chardonnay 2013 retails nationally for approximately R140.

The Glenelly Glass Collection Chardonnay 2013 has a bright and brilliant colour with a slight green hue, with complex aromas of citrus, lime zest, marmalade and melon. On the palate there is a beautiful round comforting texture with wonderful length, intense fruit complexity and a mineral oyster-shell finish. This Chardonnay is a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc and makes for a perfect aperitif, an ideal lunch-time wine and a great match for grilled calamari, mezze platters, sushi, oysters, Caesar salad and summer pastas.

The grapes were lightly crushed, gently pressed, naturally fermented (wild fermentation) in two stainless steel tanks (one at 13° and the other at 18°) and left on the lees until bottling.

The Glenelly Glass Collection Chardonnay 2013 retails nationally for approximately R65.


Glenelly Estate in Idas Valley in Stellenbosch was purchased in 2003 by Madame May-Eliane de Lencquesaing, a member of one of Bordeaux’s oldest wine families, the Miailhe, who owned the famous Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac, Bordeaux.

Glenelly vineyards

After meticulous soil and weather studies of the 123-hectare farm, which was formerly devoted to fruit production, 60 hectares have been planted to vine: (Cabernet Sauvignon 41.7%, Shiraz 19.2%, Merlot 13.3%, Petit Verdot 8.3%, Cabernet Franc 8.3% and Chardonnay 9.2%) and five hectares of olive trees. The Chardonnay vineyards were planted in 2005. The Glenelly vineyards are situated on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain. Soils are predominantly oakleaf, a form of decomposed granite with a deep layer of clay, which lends itself to making fresh, elegant and well-structured wines. Glenelly enjoys a high percentage of cooler, east-facing slopes. This is unusual for Stellenbosch and allows for slower, more even ripening. Four dams provide an ample water supply. The flora and fauna add to the beauty of this mountainside estate.


Luke O’Cuinneagain, with winemaking experience from Château Fieuzal (Bordeaux), Cave Dietrich (Alsace), Screaming Eagle (Napa Valley, USA), Château Angélus (Bordeaux) and five years at Rustenburg Estate, joined Glenelly as winemaker in 2007. In 2010 winemaking ‘maverick’ Adi Badenhorst joined the Glenelly team as winemaking consultant and is sharing his innovative and highly creative ideas with Luke.

Glenelly Cellar

The year 2009 saw the inauguration of the Glenelly cellar and tasting room: 6,000m² anchored in the mountains on four floors functioning by gravity flow. This very modern structure was designed as an excellent environmentally-friendly working tool, with reduced electricity and water consumption and constant temperature control without the use of air-conditioning. 2013 saw the installation of new solar panels, which allows Glenelly to provide 70% of its own energy resources, a hugely‐important factor as the estate strives for greater sustainability and a lower carbon footprint.

Glenelly’s three tiers of wine

Lady May

The Lady May 2010, Glenelly’s flagship estate wine, is an exceptionally graceful and stylish Cabernet Sauvignon with a dash of Petit Verdot. This esteemed wine has been regularly rated as a Top 100 SA Wine and the 2009 vintage received a pinnacle 5-star rating in Platter’s wine guide.
The Lady May 2010 retails nationally between R275 and R300.

Grand Vin De Glenelly

In addition to the Glenelly Grand Vin Chardonnay 2013, this range also includes the signature red blend of the estate, the Grand Vin de Glenelly 2008, which is a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot.
The Grand Vin de Glenelly 2008 retails nationally for around R140.

Glass Collection

Apart from the Glass Collection Chardonnay 2013, the Glenelly Glass Collection range of premium single varietals includes a Merlot 2011, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 and a Syrah 2010, all of which are packaged with screwcap closures and retail nationally between R75 and R80.

The Glenelly Glass Collection range of wines pays tribute to Madame de Lencquesaing’s life-long passion for glass and the many attributes beautiful glass shares with fine wine, including the perfect soil prerequisite. Both these forms of art are on display at Glenelly, with the cellar also home to Madame’s precious glass collection.

Madame May de Lencquesaing

Why after 30 years in the wine business in France, did the elderly Madame decide to plant vines in South Africa? “I bought Glenelly because I believe in South Africa’s soil, microclimate and potential for quality wines, and I wanted to continue the French heritage of winemaking in South Africa that goes back more than three centuries. I have every confidence in this great country and its people, and wish to play a part in its economic development”, says Madame, who is turning 90 next year.

May de Lencquesaing is a very busy lady: Vice President for Life of the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC), Local President of the Legion of Honour in the Medoc, a member of the Academy of Science, Letters and Arts of Bordeaux, and very involved in many charitable events. Her success with Château Pichon led to her being named Decanter Magazine Woman of the Year in 1994. In 2007 Madame sold Château Pichon to Roederer Champagne and has since devoted her time to the development of Glenelly. Sharing time between Europe and South Africa, this tireless octogenarian is perhaps the world’s oldest ‘flying winemaker’.

Glenelly Manor House

Central to an impressive circle of mountains, vineyards and olive groves, lies the majestic Cape Dutch Manor House, where Madame resides when she is in South Africa, surrounded by newly-renovated farm buildings and beautiful gardens.

Glenelly Community

This French adventure on African soil is based on a young, professional and motivated team of South Africans with very special attention given to social conditions of each and every employee. For the small community of 14 farm workers Madame found at Glenelly, eight households in total, this was certainly no different. Not only was she responsible for successfully relocating each family to a house that they now own, in Idas Valley, but she also sponsored their children to attend the schools in the local area. Her passion and belief for investing in their future, especially their education, led to the establishment of the Glenelly C.A.R.E Centre for the farm children and the Glenelly Recreation Centre for the farm workers in 2010. In 2013, Rosemary Flandorph, principal caregiver at the C.A.R.E centre, won the Farm Worker of the Year competition in the Stellenbosch District.


The Glenelly Estate’s origins date back to the 17th century, when, Simon van der Stel, Governor of the Cape at the time, granted the land to French Huguenot François Villion. In 1812, the estate passed to Johan Peter de Villiers, and finally in 1911 it became the property of British family, the Garlicks, who owned it for 92 years until its purchase in 2003 by May de Lencquesaing.

A visit to Glenelly

Glenelly is open for wine tasting and sales Monday to Saturday
Tel: 021 809 6440
Email: luke@glenelly.co.za
Website: www.glenellyestate.com

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