May Eliane de Lencquesaing formally owned Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtess de Lalande, in the Pauillac appellation of Bordeaux, France. Although, she acquired Glenelly Stellenbosch, in 2003, the formal opening of the estate has been delayed until the 2008 vintage wines, which were crafted solely from grapes grown on the estate, have been released for sale.
An environmentally sensitive 600 ton cellar, created by Swiss, French and South African architects was completed last year. Some of it’s features are that fewer chemicals are used to clean tanks because water at high temperature does the job and under-floor cooling cuts energy costs. The cellar structure blends into the Simonsberg hills because of carefully coloured concrete thus minimising visual impact.
The winemaker is Luke O’Cuinneagain and Adie Badenhorst is the consultant, formally of neighbouring farm, Rustenberg. Cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot, shiraz and chardonnay are the cultivars planted here.
de Lencquesaing is quoted in Decanter.com as saying,
I now intend to spend six months of the year in South Africa. I am very keen to ensure this is a truly South African estate, not to impose too much of my Bordeaux sensibilities on to the land.
I will be running the estate and continuing with the set up of numerous social structures for the employees from estate housing to child care to education and training courses.
All of this at the age of 84 years!