Glenelly in wine tourism push

Glenelly, the Stellenbosch estate owned by Bordeaux doyenne May de Lencquesaing, is embarking on a tourism drive with a new restaurant, tasting room and museum.

May Eliane de Lencquesaing

May Eliane de Lencquesaing

Having been closed to the public for the last year for the refurbishment work to take place, de Lencquesaing’s grandson Arthur believes the changes will transform the estate into “a world-class winelands destination”.

Among the new developments are a bistro, a tasting room with a granite bar and cabinet of curiosities boasting views of the Simonsberg Mountain, and a subterranean space displaying de Lencquesaing’s extensive glass collection.

The Glenelly range has been redesigned

Glenelly’s new labels

The collection includes Roman pieces, XVII and XVIII century glasses, and works by Spanish painter Salvador Dalí and contemporary South African artists.

“Wines are made to pair with food, so introducing a culinary experience at Glenelly was the logical next step on our journey,” de Lencquesaing explained.

At the helm of the bistro is French-born, South Africa-based chef Christophe Dehosse, who takes inspiration both from his homeland and African ingredients. Dishes will be made with local seasonal produce with ingredients sourced from organic farms.

In addition to structural work, the estate has also revamped its wine labels to give the brand a more high-end feel that expresses its key characteristics of “power, elegance and balance”.

Key to the redesign is a new vintage-looking logo featuring a French lady riding side-saddle on a South African rhino while holding a wine glass aloft.

An embossed stamp now appears on the labels, which are either red, orange or brown to symbolise the sun, wine and soil, while the Grand Vin range is now called Estate Reserve.

Having sold Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in Pauillac, May de Lencquesaing bought the South African estate in 2003 at the tender age of 78.

Helping her to run the estate are her grandsons Nicolas Bureau and Arthur de Lencquesaing, while Luke O’Cuinneagain looks after winemaking.

“Starting to work with my grandmother has been an enriching experience, both personally and professionally. I keep learning from her impressive track record in the wine industry and the different perspectives from different generations are very complementary,” Arthur told db.

“Glenelly is at an exciting stage, and the recent evolution in packaging has received a very positive response in our key markets,” he added.

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