2017: A Year of Celebration

Glen Carlou 2017

30 Years of Wine making and Glen Carlou shines brighter than Ever


2017, a joyous year for Glen Carlou and the beginning of a new chapter – three decades of wine making, new owners, new winemaker and Chardonnay still at the top.

With the change of ownership finalized in December 2016 and new head wine maker, Johnnie Calitz joining the team, 2017 was off to an exciting start.

“For nearly a decade, Glen Carlou has grown to be one of the most successful businesses in the South African wine industry, resulting in a financially sound winery recognised for consistently producing some of the best premium and super premium wines in the Western Cape. The winery is poised to enter a new phase in its illustrious history, and we are excited to take the helm.”  New Chairman, Wayne Pitout, expressing his confidence in the future of Glen Carlou.

A superb harvest along with the delicate and natural approach in the cellar kicked off a year of celebration.  2017 not only commemorated 30 years of Glen Carlou’s signature Chardonnay, but also cheered a brand new addition to the Glen Carlou Classic Collection – a delicate pink Pinot Noir Rosé.

Michael Fridjhon, Wine Wizard, also expressed his excitement over the new vintage under the care of Johnnie: “There’s been an interesting change in the feel of Glen Carlou wines with the arrival of Johnnie Calitz to manage the 2017 vintage. My first impression – having tasted the 2017 Curator’s Collection, a small-batch production where the wine maker can make a statement outside the more commercial range – is that there will be a distinct shift in time at Glen Carlou. The 2017 whites are impressive – a function of the vintage itself, which was very good, but also of Calitz’s approach. The Sauvignon Blanc is dense and textured, while the Chenin Blanc intense, very fine and with lovely compote notes. There’s also a clue as to what to expect of the reds in the next few years – at least to judge from the 2016 Classic Merlot, a wine that Calitz would have finished off and bottled. It is soft, plush, juicy and definitely not simple: a real achievement with Cape merlot.”

Although the new vintage releases are worth all the rave, Glen Carlou Chardonnay keeps the crown high with the Classic Chardonnay winning a Sommelier Selection Gold and named South African Young Wine of the Year’s Best Chardonnay, while the Quartz Stone Chardonnay won Michelangelo Wine & Spirits Gold, a 92 point Tim Atkin Master of Wine grade and maintained a 4.5* John Platter rating.

Beyond the exceptional year in wine, Glen Carlou saw the opening of its second extraordinary all South African art exhibition in The Gallery @ Glen Carlou showcasing unique installations of contemporary, pop and modern art by local artists, curated by Alex Hamilton.

The Tasting Room @ Glen Carlou welcomed the Franschhoek Wine Tram and The Restaurant @ Glen Carlou showcased four unique menus inspired by the seasons and launched a seasonal breakfast menu, cementing Glen Carlou’s position as one of the Top 30 Restaurants in the Winelands.

As 2017 comes to an end and the 2018 harvest drawing near, we look forward to a promising 2018 – celebrating Glen Carlou as a Wine, Food and Art Destination for the next 30 years to come.

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