The Glenelly Estate is in the Idas Valley in Stellenbosch, on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain. In 2003, at the age of 78, May-Elaine de Lencquesaing, then owner of the famous Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, a Grand Cru Classé from Pauillac, Bordeaux, bought the estate which was part of the original Ida’s Valley farm granted in 1682 by Simon van der Stel. Continuing her own family tradition as well as that of the French Huguenot settlers 300 years before, she set about planting vines to replace the existing fruit trees, establishing a thriving winery that best utilizes the soils and micro-climate of the valley and supports local economic development and the community.
The 1783 stamp on the Glenelly wine labels signifies nearly 250 years of the family’s involvement in the wine industry. Their ancestor, Elie Miailhe, was granted the title of ‘royal wine broker’ in 1783 and May de Lencquesaing (née Miailhe), continues the tradition in the 21st century, together with her grandchildren, Nicolas and Maxime Bureau.
Glenelly wines are made as naturally as possible with wild yeast fermentation and no acidification. The winemaking team follows a minimal intervention approach to winemaking yet intensive sorting and care is taken when receiving the grapes. Lady May is a cabernet-led Bordeaux blend and is Glenelly’s flagship estate wine.