Glenelly Estate is in Idas Valley, Stellenbosch, on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain. Its origins date back to the 17th century. Simon van der Stel, Governor of the Cape, gave the land to the French Huguenot François Villon in 1682. In 1812 the estate remained in French hands when it passed on to Johan Peter de Villiers.
So …why in 2003 did May de Lencquesaing, then owner of the famous Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande purchase the estate?
Why after 30 years in the wine business in France would she decide to plant vines in S Africa? Why would an ‘older’ lady invest in this ‘younger’ democracy and start a new adventure?
Because she believes in the soil, the micro climate and the potential for quality wines. Because she believes in continuing the long relationship between the French and wine making in South Africa going back more than three centuries.
Because she believes in South Africa and wishes to play a part in its economic development.
Winemaking at Glenelly is considered an art form. 2009 saw the inauguration, on this 128ha estate, of a winery which is a stellar example of modern methods, design and environmental awareness.
View all Glenelly wines
The Cape region is located on the 35th parallel south. Bordeaux is located on the 45th parallel north, so also in a temperate region. As with the Medoc of Bordeaux, the Cape vineyards are located between two bodies of water: the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, it thus enjoys a microclimate conducive to good grape ripening. These vineyards are planted on mountain slopes such as in Stellenbosch, sometimes in valleys like Franschoek, or on plateaux as in Paarl. These differences may be comparable to those that exist in Bordeaux between the regions of St Emilion, Pomerol, Graves and the Medoc. Temperatures are, however, more Mediterranean.
The Glenelly Estate is in the Idas Valley, located in Stellenbosch, on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain. Its origins date back to the seventeenth century. Simon van der Steel, Governor of the Cape, gave the land to the Huguenot Francois Villion. In 1812, the estate passed to Johan Peter de Villiers, and finally in 1865 it became the property of a British family, the Garlicks. They owned it for 138 years until its purchase in 2003 by May-Eliane de Lencquesaing, who for over 30 years was owner of the famous Bordeaux Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac Grand Cru Classe.
This estate of 128 hectares formerly devoted to fruit production had, thanks to it terroir, a vocation for wine producing, which has been a speciality of this region since the seventeenth century. An exhaustive study of soil and weather conditions lead to the planting of 60 hectares of red varieties, 6 hectares of white and 5 hectares of olive trees.