The former owner of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is about to formally open Glenelly, her South African estate.
May de Lencquesaing, who sold Pichon Lalande in Pauillac to Champagne Roederer in 2007, bought the 65-hectare Glenelly in 2003.
The official launch has been delayed until the sale of the 2008 vintage, which is the first to use grapes grown entirely on the Stellenbosch estate. A new winery was completed in 2009.
When it bought the property, Roederer became 15% shareholder in Glenelly, but following some distribution issues over the wine, de Lencquesaing became the sole owner in December 2009.
‘I now intend to spend six months of the year in South Africa,’ de Lencquesaing told decanter.com.
‘I am very keen to ensure this is truly a South African estate, not to impose too much of my Bordeaux sensibilities on to the land.’
She said she would be ‘running the estate and continuing with the set up of numerous social structures for the employees, from estate housing and childcare to education and training courses.’
The winemaker at Glenelly is Luke O’Cuinneagain, who has previously worked at Chateau Angelus, and Rustenberg, Glenelly’s award-winning neighbour in Stellenbosch.
The consultant is Adi Badenhorst, also previously at Rustenberg, as well as his own family estates.
The official launch, in April, will coincide with de Lencquesaing’s 85th birthday.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux