Paarl, South Africa
See MAN Vintners wines we sell
Winermaker: Mr Man
The story of MAN Vintners begins with a few friends sitting around, enjoying each others company and drinking some wine. Being that way inclined, they decided to start making wine in small batches on the weekends. They came from wine backgrounds, and had day jobs, so this turned into a weekend gig. The wives wanted to know what was taking up so much time, so the friends decided to name their project after their wives (M for Marie, A for Anette, and N for Nicky). Their knack for finding good fruit sources, putting value in the bottle, and a good business sense has ensured the commercial success of their venture.
The three friends and business partners are Jose Conde of Stark-Conde, and brothers Philip and Tyrrel Myburgh. What started off as a very small production operation for the fun of it, has grown to a 175,000 cases in a little over a decade. Grapes are sourced from primarily the Agter-Paarl area, which has traditionally been the place for bulk wine grapes. About 30 farmers in that region now provide grapes for MAN Vintners, and have long term contracts to sell their grapes to MAN, who overseas the vineyards. About half of the vines are un-trellised bush vines and about 80% of the vines are dry farmed. The combination of bush vines and little or no irrigation means that the wines are flavorful and reflective of the region where the grapes are grown. Agter-Paarl has a warm and dry climate which is suited for growing certain grape varietals. Soils in the Agter-Paarl region are primarily decomposed granite and Malmesbury shale. While there are many farms growing grapes in Agter-Paarl, there are no tasting rooms in this region. If you happened to bump into a farmer there he would probably talk to you for a long time and invite you in for tea or a tasting. In other words, the glamorous side of South African wine is found 40 minutes away in Stellenbosch.
The goal of MAN Vintners is to provide high quality wines that can be drunk on a daily basis. They have good packaging and marketing, and make a value driven, fruit forward style that over delivers. The wines are made to be drunk in the short term to medium term. Their most popular wines so far have been Cabernet in the reds and Chenin Blanc in the whites. MAN Vintners makes straight varietal wines, and the team has recently started making some blends under the Tormentoso label, which are also worthy of attention.