Paying tribute to the estate’s co-founder Ansela van de Caab

June is a special heritage month in Muratie’s history books. It is the month in which Ansela van de Caab was emancipated from slavery, gaining her freedom to marry Laurens Campher and become one of the first owners of Muratie.

 

Ansela van de Caab was emancipated in June 1695

She was born in the slave quarters at the Castle of Good Hope, her surname being ‘van de Caab’ (Dutch for ‘of the Cape’) as was the case with all slaves born at the Cape at the time. The first owner of Muratie, a young German soldier in the service of the Dutch East India Company called Laurens Campher, met Ansela at the Castle and fell in love with her. During their 14-year courtship, Laurens frequently walked the 64 kilometres to Cape Town and back, a three-day trip, to see his beloved Ansela. During this time three children were born to them, and Laurens’s one wish in life was to see his family set free from slavery and to bring them home to Muratie. His dreams came true in 1695 when Ansela was christened in the Castle on 19 June and emancipated the following week on 28 June. Ansela and her children were finally able to leave behind a dark past when Laurens arrived to take his family to their new home. The oak tree Ansela planted to bless their marriage still stands on Muratie today, as does a small white house, their first home, built for them by Laurens.

The oak tree Ansela planted still there

Today the estate pays tribute to its founders with two magnificent wines and special offers that will help you get over the rigours of winter in style and comfort. You will be greeted on arrival by Ansela’s magnificent ancient oak tree that guards the Tasting Room, and you can pay tribute to Muratie’s first owners when you visit their home which now houses the MOK Gallery.

 

Classic lamb shank

The special June celebratory offer – their legendary Slow-Cooked Lamb Shank served with a glass of Ansela for R300. And pop into the Tasting Room on your way out and take home a celebratory 6-bottle mixed case of Ansela van de Caab and Laurens Campher for a special price of R2000.00 – or email wineclub@muratie.co.za.”

 

 

CELEBRATING ANSELA VAN DE CAAB AT MURATIE DURING THE MONTH OF JUNE

 

Muratie Ansela van de Caab

A classic Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot which spent 22 months in French oak. Dark, intense and brooding, the nose promises much and the palate, rich and velvety, more than delivers on that promise.

Approximate retail price: R670

Laurens Campher

A unique white blend of predominantly Chenin Blanc with smaller amounts of Sauvignon Blanc, Verdehlo and Viognier. Flavours are complex and intense, from barrel fermentation and 11 months of maturation in mostly older French oak.

Approximate retail price: R250

 

MORE ABOUT ANSELA VAN DE CAAB

 

When the Cape of Good Hope was established as a Dutch colony in 1652 by Jan van Riebeeck, the international slave trade was in full swing. Ansela’s story begins during this dark period in history when the Dutch colonists captured a Portuguese slave ship in 1658 carrying slaves (including Ansela’s mother) who had been forcibly taken from their home country of Guinea. Born into slavery in the quarters of the Cape’s notorious Castle (her mother a slave from West Africa, her white father most likely a servant of the Dutch East India Company), Ansela was destined to work in the Company’s Garden for the rest of her life. As a baby Ansela would have lived with her mother in the slave quarters under the granaries of van Riebeeck’s clay fort (on the present Parade). After the new slave lodge was completed in 1679, Ansela would have lived there, as well as her children. Ansela’s emancipation years later in 1695 was conditional on her being able to speak Dutch, profess the Christian faith and be a member of the Church.

 

It must have been very exciting for the slave girl to finally be free, to marry Laurens Campher and be able to live with him and their children in their own house at Muratie. Laurens had not only sought a picturesque place for the homestead, but a practical one as well. Their home was built on a rise near the mountain stream, beyond the reach of flood waters but near enough for the purpose of fetching water. There was a small drift and convenient scooping place just below the house. The house had an excellent view of the Simonsberg and across the valley Table Mountain could be seen in the distance. After her life in the slave lodge, this humble dwelling must have felt like a palace. Together the Camphers planted the first vines and developed a farm that is still going strong over three centuries later.

Knorhoek Road, Stellenbosch · www.muratie.co.za · 021 865 2330 · taste@muratie.co.za