The estate was established by David Manley Jordan, who had not only farmed in the Free State but also spent fifteen years on a sailing yacht. He then decided, with his wife Esther, to settle in Tulbagh, where they purchased the estate in June 1996 and farmed with dairy cows, sheep, and later a few horses, while Esther ran a small guest house.
Within a few years, they had upgraded the guest house facilities, built a dam, and started planting vines. The first two crops were harvested and sold to three private cellars, after which David decided to make his own wine.
The existing dairy and stables were converted into a barrel maturation cellar and a fermentation room was later added on. Parts of Manley Wine Estate date back to the 1860s. The main thatched Manor House, unlike most of the buildings in Tulbagh, does not follow the classic Cape Dutch design but rather reflects the French Huguenot homes of the late nineteenth century.
Today, Manley Private Cellar is a registered, multi-award-winning wine estate. Most of the output is sold overseas, shipping largely to the UK and also many other European countries.
In August 2020 Manley Wine Estate and Private Cellar were acquired by Markus Ehehalt, a German engineer with great enthusiasm for wine and love for the Tulbagh area.
Markus received formal wine education in Germany to dive deeper into the sophisticated world of wine production. His vision is to re-establish Manley Wine Estate into a prestigious South African boutique winery and guest farm, a small haven in the countryside of Tulbagh.