Do you like your wine estates small, personal, honest and real? Glenwood is that place.
Do you like your wines perfectly balanced, elegant and bold, with a touch of heavenly nectar? Glenwood’s are those wines. Small wonder then, that the Glenwood Grand Duc Chardonnay 2013 just got 5 stars in the 2016 Platter Guide – it is, quite simply, sheer perfection.
Wine estates come in many shapes and sizes, many of them impersonal and inaccessibly grand. The human touch is very much in evidence on this estate, however, which is why the wines stand out.
The story behind the making of Glenwood wine is a tale of harmonious partnership – between owner Alastair Wood, general manager/winemaker DP Burger, and then or course, Nature itself.
Tucked away in Robertsvlei just outside Franschhoek, this small privately-owned winery produces award-winning wines from its 26-year old vines, notably the 2013 Grand Duc Chardonnay that just scored 5 stars in the 2016 Platter Guide. Known mostly for its stable of Chardonnay and Shiraz, Glenwood Estate recently also released the maiden vintage of its Grand Duc Noblesse dessert wine, an absolute stunner and instant classic. A well-integrated sweet wine with delicate similarities to French Sauternes, its alluring honey and nutty flavours reflect richness and texture from Semillon grapes, complimented perfectly by freshness and acidity from Sauvignon Blanc. Never cloying and with delicate fruit, it’s eminently sippable.
All you really need to know is that it’s a collector’s item, will be good in the bottle for another 10-15 years, and at R220 from the Tasting Room, you’d better drive there soon to snap up a few bottles for yourself. Christmas just won’t be Christmas without it.
Glenwood’s vineyards were planted 26 years ago and have been under the nurturing hand and watchful eye of winemaker DP Burger for 24 of those. A passionate third-generation Franschhoeker, DP knows the blocks like the back of his hand and makes deeply personal wines with his team. He was hired soon after owner Alastair Wood took over the farm and has been an intrinsic part of the development of the property ever since. DP is a part of Glenwood, and Glenwood is a part of him.
DP is also a brilliant storyteller, and listening to him talk about the estate, the vineyards and the cellar, it’s clear he derives a huge sense of enjoyment from his work. He seems to have an almost intuitive connection with the land, energised and fascinated by it in equal measure. To meet him, share his beautiful wines and some delicious small plates from the bistro with him and just to listen, is to gain a first-hand impression of the estate’s creation. It’s a labour of love, with canny common sense, serious knowhow and endless devotion that go into making these wines.
Planting took place progressively over 12 years until the farm was fully planted with 30 hectares of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Merlot and Shiraz. Semillon was a “romantic” choice given its traditional association with Franschhoek. The other cultivars were natural choices to suit the valley’s terroir.’
Being surrounded by mountains, the small valley has its own unique microclimate, with temperatures on average 5 C lower than Franschhoek itself and a winter rainfall of about 1600 mm per annum. Added to that, the rich alluvial deposits in the valley, along with Clovelly and Sandy Lime with a depth of 5 – 6 metres, give the wines their minerality and leanness.
Guiding principles on the farm are ‘Simple, Natural, Quality‘, referring to the practise of high planning and low interference, while maintaining the highest standards across the board. Eco-friendly viticultural practices are followed, with the use of natural winemaking materials and techniques. Glenwood abides by a deep commitment to preserving parts of the farm for the regeneration of indigenous Cape fynbos, attracting animal and bird life which had been absent for years.
The farm has the following accreditations: Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) certification, which is a voluntary environmental sustainability scheme which complies with international criteria, and Bio-Diversity and Wine Initiative accreditation (BWI) which is a guarantee of sound conservation practices which assure “green” consumers that vineyards and cellars are eco-friendly and that natural habitat is protected.
The Rendezvous Bistro adjoining the Tasting Room serves simple, hearty meals that perfectly compliment the range of wines. On sunny days, the terrace looking out over the vineyards easily seduces one into a long, lingering visit, to breathe deeply of the tranquility and peace in the valley. If you haven’t yet visited Glenwood Wine Estate, now is a great time to book your cellar tour and tasting, and take along some mates for lunch.
Rendezvous Bistro Open Daily: 11am – 3pm except religious public holidays
Tasting Room/Cellar Tours
Sep – May: Daily 11am – 4pm
Jun – Aug: Weekdays 11am-3pm
Except Religious Public Holidays
Weekend Tours by appointment only.
NEWS! Grand Duc Chardonnay 2013 awarded 5 stars in 2016 Platter Guide:
Produced in small volumes, a mere 1700 bottles annually, this wine is a true reflection of the GlenWood terroir coming together with our “Simple, Natural, Quality” approach to winemaking. The grapes were hand-picked from 26-year-old vines at optimum ripeness and then whole-bunch pressed. Using quite an oxidative winemaking technique, the juice was settled, moved to barrel and fermented using 100% wild yeast. The wine spent a full 24 months in new French oak barrels and completed malolactic fermentation in barrel. The wine was very lightly filtered and bottled for your enjoyment.
This wine will benefit even more with correct cellaring and can be enjoyed with creamy pasta, white roasts, blue cheese and any seafood dishes.
Some of the awards won by Glenwood wines in recent years:
- Decanter Trophy for the best South African Chardonnay
- Old Mutual Wine Trophy Gold and Second Best Chardonnay in SA
- Veritas Gold and Double Gold
- Mundis Vini International Gold
- Winemakers Choice Best White and Top 3 Chardonnays
- Numerous Veritas Double Gold awards
- Shiraz Top Ten (7th in SA)
- Winemakers Choice Top 3 Shiraz
- Gold Medal Sante Winelands
- Silver Medal Michelangelo International Wine Competition
- Dave Hughes Top Ten Sauvignon Blanc Selection
- The majority of our wines receive either four or four and a half stars (out of five) in the annual John Platter Wine Guide
Wine of Origin Franschhoek
Wine of Origin (WO) is the industry certification that wines have been produced using grapes from a specific district. In the case of GlenWood, all except one of the wines are produced from Glenwood’s own grapes.