Tulbagh was originally a relatively small, white wine producing region. It was regarded by many as the lesser cousin to the more established areas of Stellenbosch and Paarl. All that changed on September 29th 1969 when an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale virtually levelled the town. It was rebuilt in the faithful style you see today and with its rebirth came a new determination in the people of the town.
Fast forward to 1999 when Dave (Manley) Jordan along with some of the other local producers established the very first of the new farms to plant red wine grapes.
Today Tulbagh is no longer in the shadows. It has become highly regarded, in South Africa and abroad, emerging as a wonderful boutique region, one producing some of the most significant red wines in the Cape.
The young and ambitious Joshua Van Blommestein has been newly appointed as Manley Wine Lodge Estate Wine’s new winemaker.
Joshua, although still relatively new to the industry is joining Manley Wine Lodge with two years under his belt working as assistant winemaker to Dewaldt Heyns, Cellar Master of Saronsberg Wine Cellar and member of the prestigious Cape Wine Makers Guild. During his time spent at Saronsberg Joshua was taught the importance of attention to detail and meticulously working with one's hands when it came to the harvesting and preparation of the grapes right down to the actual wine making process.
Joshua brings with him a passion for red wine with Shiraz being one of his favorites. Joshua says “Shiraz is an elegant wine and one we can have fun within the wine making process.”
Joshua studied at Elsenberg College, the oldest wine college in the Western Cape, where he obtained a degree in Oenology and Viticulture. During his studies, he was given the opportunity to travel the wine regions of France and experience the wine culture and historical harvesting and wine making process in Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone.
Joshua is a passionate and enthusiastic young winemaker with a love for red wine and the Tulbagh region. He says “I am looking forward to creating the 2020 vintages and putting the Manley Estate Wine’s on the map.”
Manley Wine Lodge is thrilled to have Joshua on the team and are looking forward to fantastic 2020 vintages as well as all the changes he has planned.
Manley has its own unique terroir, with very old shale soil that is perfect for red wine production. Because of this soil, our yield is somewhat lower than that of other cellars in the region as we get smaller berries, but our grapes tend to have thicker skin with a higher concentration of flavour.
Our sorting process is three-fold: it starts in the vineyard, where the undeveloped bunches and berries are cut down in the ‘green harvest’. Later the harvested bunches are sorted, leaving only the grapes, which are sorted again to remove small, green berries, as well as any with bird damage.
Fermentation happens between 23 and 25 degrees Celcius, in open tanks with four pump overs a day. The berries are pressed to a low yield per ton for best quality.
We mature our wines in French oak barrels for around 15-22 months and release the finished product for sale about two years after harvest. While they are very popular at this stage, our wines will continue to mature and improve for at least another 10 years – if you can wait that long!
The grapes are usually harvested between February and April – a great time to stay with us and help out with the wine making!
We present wine tastings over weekends, on Saturdays between 10h00 and 15h00, and Sundays between 11h00 and 14h00. The wines can be paired with handmade chocolates which have been specially designed for us by Moniki to enhance and enrich the tasting experience. Our wines are on sale at the Estate all week long, and can also be purchased online.