MAN Family Wines
Friends, American-born José Conde and South African brothers Tyrrel and Philip Myburgh, were all involved in the South African wine industry: the brothers with their family's Joostenberg Wines, and José with his own winery Stark-Condé Wines. As emerging winemakers back in 2001, they were struggling to find good wines they could afford. In their own words it all started with a simple idea “to make a wine we'd love to drink”. They weren't looking for extravagant wines but, as winemakers, they had high standards and were looking for good everyday drinking wines that they could share with friends, many of whom were also in the wine trade. In short, they wanted to make “everyday wines for wine geeks”. Clearly there was a niche in the market, so the friends decided to fill it, but first needed a name for their new venture. It was a masterstroke to take the first initial of each of their wives first names: Marie, Anette and Nicky - and MAN Family Wines was born. It was a way to unite the families and, although it was going to be hard work keeping them busy most weekends, the friends could always tell their wives “it's for you”! From inception the focus was on sourcing the best quality grapes and they spent a lot of time every weekend driving around looking for exceptional vineyards and talking to growers. MAN have long term collaborations with grape growers in the Agter-Paal (“behind Paar”l) region, who are now shareholders in the company and, collectively, sustainably farm more than 2000 hectares of prime, predominantly dry-farmed, low-yielding bush-vine vineyards. They are all environmentally sustainable and socially responsible accredited farmers by the South African IPW (Integrated Production of Wine) and WIETA (Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association) schemes. Their initial release of just 600 cases of Pinotage, made in a tractor shed, has now grown to 175,000 cases a year, exported to 25 countries. The MAN portfolio includes Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot Shiraz Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and a couple of sparkling wines – all brilliant wines and all brilliant value for money –
exactly as they intended them to be!