GLENELLY ESTATE REAPS THE REWARDS OF A DECADE OF PASSION AND COMMITMENT
Glenelly releases its new vintage red wines- and magnificent glass pieces added to Madame de Lencquesaing’s Collection
1 Glenelly Cellar and Vineyards
2 Madame de Lencquesaing
3 Panoramic view from Glenelly Estate
4 Glenelly Cellar and Vineyards panoramic
5 Sculpture by Maxime Real del Sarte 1948 – depicted on the Lady May wine label
6 Leibniz Cross by Salvador Dali 1976
7 Glenelly Tasting Room exterior
8 Glenelly Tasting Room interior
9 Winemaker Luke O’Cuinneagain
10 Glenelly Manor House
11 Glenelly Art and Glass Museum
12 Glenelly Lady May
13 Glenelly Grand Vin Chardonnay
14 Grand Vin de Glenelly
15 Glenelly Glass Collection Chardonnay
16 Glenelly Glass Collection Syrah
17 Glenelly Glass Collection Cabernet Sauvignon
18 Glenelly Glass Collection Merlot
With its first vines planted in 2004, Glenelly, the exemplary Stellenbosch wine estate with a French touch, may be a young estate, but the estate’s Grande Dame May-Eliane de Lencquesaing’s tremendous energy and passion has led to major developments on this historic property over the past 10 years.
Glenelly is located in Stellenbosch on the slopes of the Simonsberg and was part of the original Ida’s Valley Farm, granted in 1682 to French Huguenot François Villon by Simon van der Stel. In 1865 part of the farm was bought by the Garlick family. It remained under their ownership for more than a century until Madame de Lencquesaing, of Bordeaux fame, who owned and ran the prestigious Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande for more than thirty years, acquired the property in 2003, bringing back a touch of France to this historic valley.
Madame de Lencquesaing
Why after 30 years in the wine business in France, did 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’s energy and passion has led to major changes at Glenelly. After exhaustive terroir studies of the 123-hectare farm, which was formerly devoted to fruit production, the first vines were planted in 2004. 60 hectares in total 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 planted to olive trees.
Winemakers, cellar and tasting room
Luke O’Cuinneagain, with extensive winemaking experience from Bordeaux, Alsace, Napa Valley, USA and neighbouring estate Rustenberg, joined Glenelly as winemaker in 2007. The year 2009 saw the inauguration of Glenelly’s 600-ton state-of-the-art cellar and tasting room: 6,000m² anchored in the mountains and operating completely on gravity flow principles. The ultra-modern, four-level structure, developed with extreme sensitivity to the environment, with reduced electricity and water consumption, was hailed by Platter’s South African Wine Guide as a “victory for environmentalism.” 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’s wines are fermented naturally and made with as little intervention as possible, seeking to achieve the perfect balance of French style and South African terroir. Many of the seven elegant Glenelly wines have already reaped rave reviews and prestigious awards including a Platter’s pinnacle 5-star rating. Glenelly’s three tiers of wines include The Lady May, the estate’s flagship Cabernet named in honour of Glenelly’s Grande Dame; the Grand Vin De Glenelly range which includes a wooded Chardonnay and the signature red blend of the estate; and the Glass Collection single varietal range comprising an Unwooded Chardonnay, a Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
New vintage red wines
Glenelly has released all its new vintage red wines.
Grand Vin de Glenelly 2009
The Grand Vin de Glenelly is the signature red blend of the estate.The recently released 2009 is a blend of 42% Shiraz, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot, naturally fermented and matured in French oak for 18 months.
Tasting notes: The wine offers an elegant complex bouquet developing aromas of cassis and spicy plums, cedar and tobacco with notes of toast in the background. The palate has a great intensity and concentration with fantastic freshness and fine, elegant, but well-structured tannins, which lead to a long luscious finish.
Awards: The 2009 vintage received a 92 point rating by Tim Atkin, internationally renowned wine commentator and British Master of Wine, and a 90 point rating by the USA’s wine and lifestyle magazine, Wine Spectator October issue.
Retail price: The Grand Vin de Glenelly 2009 retails nationally for around R140.
The Lady May 2011
The Lady May is Glenelly’s flagship estate wine, named in honour of Glenelly’s Grande Dame, is an exceptionally graceful and stylish Cabernet Sauvignon with a dash of Petit Verdot. It is naturally fermented and matured in new French oak for 24 months.
Tasting notes: Elegant and complex, the wine develops flavours of cassis, blackcurrant, dark cherry, raspberries and delicate spicy plum. Fresh and vibrant, the evolution of the wine introduces flavours specific to Glenelly’s terroir. The wine displays an exquisite structure, seamless oak, velvety tannins and a silky savoury finish and has a very good aging capability of 12 to 18 years.
Awards: This highly acclaimed Cabernet has received many prestigious awards. The 2009 vintage received a pinnacle 5-star rating in Platter’s wine guide, and this esteemed wine has been regularly rated as a Top 100 SA Wine, including the 2011 vintage, which also received a 95 point rating by Tim Atkin and a 90 point rating by the Wine Spectator October issue.
Retail price: The Lady May 2010 retails nationally between R275 and R300.
Glass Collection Syrah 2011
The Glass Collection Syrah is fermented naturally and matured in French oak for 12 months.
Tasting notes: It has a wonderful dark and rich colour with deep purple undertones, yet there is still brilliance to the wine. The aromatics of the wine are intense with floral tones such as yasmin and violet coming through with white pepper spice, spicy plum and dark berry core. The palate is well balanced and textured with soft round tannins and a pure fruit core shining through.
Awards: The Glass Collection Syrah 2011 was rated as a Top 100 SA Wine in the 2014 competition and received an 88 point rating by the Wine Spectator October issue.
Retail price: The Glass Collection Syrah 2011 is packaged with a screwcap closure and retails nationally between R75 and R80.
Glass Collection Merlot 2012
The Glass Collection Merlot is fermented naturally and matured in French oak for 12 months.
Tasting notes: Itis a deep rich ruby coloured wine. It displays intense dark fruit aromas, spicy plums and hints of dark chocolate with touches of spearmint on the edge. This Merlot shows tremendous concentration, richness and generous fruit on the palate with fine but well structured and balanced tannins to embrace it all.
Retail price: The Glass Collection Merlot 2012 is packaged with a screwcap closure and retails nationally between R75 and R80.
Glass Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
The Glass Collection Cabernet Sauvignon is fermented naturally and matured in French oak for 12 months.
Tasting notes: This wine develops a very complex nose with flavours of cassis, blackcurrant, cherry, a touch of spices and chocolate. The wine has a good tannin structure, perfect balance and length, with layers of flavours which have followed through from the nose to the palate.
Retail price: The Glass Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is packaged with a screwcap closure and retails nationally between R75 and R80.
Glenelly’s White Wines
Glenelly produces 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 recent recipient of a 91 point rating by Tim Atkin, it retails for approximately R140.
Glenelly Glass Collection Chardonnay 2013: Unoaked and lively and packaged with screwcap closure to preserve the fresh citrus notes, it retails for approximately R65.
The Glenelly Community
May de Lencquesaing has always contributed positively to every community she has ever been associated with and this passion and commitment has seen special attention focussed on the social development of the Glenelly community, including housing and training, and education for her employees’ children.
From Fine Wine to Fine Art
As wine-making at Glenelly Estate is considered an art form, the winery is also home to other forms of art, representing May de Lencquesaing’s passion for both fine wine and for the arts. Glenelly and everything about it reflects refined taste, with venerable French finesse infused throughout the winery. May de Lencquesaing’s elegance and style goes beyond fine wine into fine art with a French inspired tasting veranda and a Château-styled lounge in the tasting room. A vintage wine library offers rare vertical tastings and a gallery displays Madame’s precious Glass and Art Collection of both rare antique and contemporary pieces, the latest additions being a Salvador Dali creation, entitled ‘Cross Leibniz’, and a master piece by the Italian Glassblower Master, Lino Tagliapietra. This spectacular collection in the winery pays tribute to her life-long passion for glass and the many attributes beautiful glass shares with fine wine. Great wines are born from vines planted in poor soils just like glass is made from the poorest soil: sand. Both need heat to come to life. And like wine, glass starts as a liquid and only then is moulded into something of value, beauty and refinement. And, after all, a lovely wine does look extremely elegant in a beautiful glass! The Glenelly Glass Collection range of wines is an ode to Madame’s love of beautiful glass.
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 has extensive international winemaking experience from Château Fieuzal (Bordeaux), Cave Dietrich (Alsace), Screaming Eagle (Napa Valley, USA), Château Angélus (Bordeaux) and five years at Rustenburg Estate in Stellenbosch.
The concrete was coloured in ochre tones to match the surrounding soil. Growing a green vegetal curtain down the side of the building allows the winery to blend into the environment and reduces the impact of the sun on the building.
Water usage in the cellar runs in a closed system. Bore hole water is purified on the farm, used in the cellar, purified again and returned to the irrigation dam to be used on the vines, and drains back to the bore hole.
The roof of the winery was built using void formers, locking air into the slab to make the roof thermally stable, as air is a poor conductor of heat.
The building is cooled by running chilled water through 15 kilometres of pipes in the structure, realising a 70% saving in energy. The winery operates on gravity flow principles, thus reducing energy consumption. Barrels are stacked on recyclable plastic beams.A high-pressure hot water system is used for cleaning the tanks, to reduce the use of chemicals. All waste at the winery is recycled including the stems and skins which go to compost.
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.
Madame May de Lencquesaing
Madame May-Eliane de Lencquesaing is 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. She is recognised worldwide as a tireless ambassador of Bordeaux and is a very busy lady: She is 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 is 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.
This French adventure on African soil is based on a young, professional and motivated team of South Africans with very special attention given to the social development and personal upliftment of each and every employee. For the small community of farm workers Madame found at Glenelly, she has been responsible for successfully relocating each family to a house that they now own, in Ida’s Valley, and 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, a safe supervised environment where they receive a balanced meal after school and have access to a library, laptops and the internet. 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 Recreation Centre focusses on the social development and personal upliftment of the farm workers, providing training in reading and writing, computer knowledge and other skills, and encourages healthy recreation.
A visit to Glenelly
Just outside the town of Stellenbosch, in Ida’s Valley, the road leads to a beautiful mountainside estate with sweeping panoramic views across vineyards and olive groves to the majestic mountains in the distance. This is Glenelly, a wine estate with a French touch.
Glenelly is open for wine tasting and sales
Monday to Friday: 10h00 until 16h30
Saturdays: 10h00 until 16h00
Cellar tours Monday to Friday – to be booked in advance.
Enjoy a Meat and Cheese Platter for R65 a head – on Fridays and Saturdays.
Art and Glass Museum.
Glenelly Olive Oil for sale at the tasting room.