Located in the top, southern-most corner of the Franschhoek Valley, in the embrace of its spectacular mountains, the 22 hectare Holden Manz Wine Estate is situated between the Franschhoek River and Stony Brook at 300 meters above sea level. An exclusive grower of red grapes, the Estate only cultivates its top 16 hectares under vineyards, notably Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot. Long, cold and wet winters allow the vines to rest well, while hot dry summers and a gentle autumn allows for slow ripening. Featuring a rich and diverse terroir influenced by its unique natural surroundings, with 3 different soil types and a marked seasonal climate, the estate’s vineyards are perfectly suited to our intention – the production of ultra-premium wines made for the discerning wine connoisseur.
Sheltered next to our Franschhoek Kitchen and tasting venue, the Holden Manz Winery features state of the art design which enables our winemaker to fully express the terroir and its fruits in every possible way. With average production sitting at 100 tonnes of manually harvested, high quality grapes, an intimate approach with emphasis on ‘attention to detail’ is maintained throughout. Smaller tanks allow for separate, small-batch fermentations, while an open-plan barrel cellar provides our winemaker the access to tend to each barrel individually. A smooth flow from delivery to bottling rounds off the winery, minimising handling and shock on the wines – another way we ensure our wines arrive in the glass in premium condition exhibiting character and bouquet in all its glory. The recent addition of 65 kW of solar panels has significantly reduced our energy consumption – a big step in our ongoing commitment to sustainable production practises.
One of my favourite wines from Holden Manz, made by winemaker Annamarie Fourie, is the Cabernet Franc (now 2018 in de shop): Rich and elegant soft textured wine with predominant cassis and dark berries. Well balanced savoury flavours with good volume. Wood is well integrated, pleasantly subtle tannins. Balanced with a long finish with plenty of spice and mocha.
During dinner the owner presented the Big G!
The individual varieties were handpicked and sorted allowing only the best berries to be used for this wine. Selected blocks in the vineyard are allocated to be used in making the Big G. All grapes fermented wild; 10% barrel fermented in new wood. Merlot harvested 1 March 2017 and cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc harvested 28 March 2017. Matured for 20 months in 30% new 225 litre French oak barrels.
The place, the wines and the food are fabulous! Thanks a lot for hosting the panel of the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits 2022.
Chris Alblas, International Wine Judge (Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits, Mundus Vini and Concours Mondial de Bruxelles).