Joshua Van Blommestein
Joshua takes over the reins at Manley and gets straight to work
- Young and ambitious Joshua Van Blommestein took over as Manley’s Head Winemaker after working at some of the top vineyards in South Africa. He brings with him bundles of energy and enthusiasm and a keen attention to detail that will make sure those Manley wines continue to hit all the right notes.
- Joshua has a soft spot for red wines, especially Shiraz, which he describes as ‘truly elegant’ and ‘a wine we can have a lot of fun with during the winemaking process’ so keep your eyes peeled for some true South Africa belters.
- During his studies he travelled over to France where he worked in Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone, picking up many tips that he can’t wait to put into practice. He’s passionate, meticulous and we can’t wait to see what he brings to Manley.
Joshua Van Blommestein's Story
A bit more about Manley:
Just outside the historic and unspoiled town of Tulbagh, about an hour’s drive from Cape Town, lies Manley Wine Lodge.
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.
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!