There are many stories associated with the Muratie estate in Stellenbosch. Not many places can claim a heritage so colourful and which stretches back hundreds of years. Just driving up the narrow little road that leads to it seems to be taking one back in time and when one walks into the cellar itself with its low ceilings and original plaster work one looks around for the hidden camera. Surely this is a film set? The cobwebs in the windows appear to have been placed there by some set designer, but they are real, as attested to by the 1957 calendar they almost cover. The host here is the current custodian of the Muratie legend, the urbane Dr Rijk Melck, who acts on behalf of the family trust.
All the wines pay tribute to various characters from the farm’s history. The Ansela van De Caab is a rich Bordeaux style blend, Cabernet Sauvignon led with other goodies to make it one of the most powerful of its kind in the Cape. Ansela was a slave girl at the Castle who was loved by the German soldier Laurens Campher, the first owner of Muratie who often walked the 64 kms from Muratie to Cape Town during their 14 year courtship. He is commemorated in the delicious white blend named after him. When Ansela was emancipated he brought her to live at Muratie where the oak tree which she planted to mark their union still stands.
George Paul Canitz, another previous owner of Muratie, was a painter and lover of the Pinot Noir grape. He is credited with having planted the first Pinot in the country so it is only fitting that today’s Muratie Pinot Noir, a delicious melange of ripe cherry type flavours, nice and fresh, pays homage to his name. The Alberta Anne Marie Merlot is named in honour of his daughter, one of the Cape’s wine pioneers who continued the work at Muratie after her father’s death. The Chardonnay is named after Rijk’s daughter Isabella and the Shiraz after his father, nicely closing the circle of life. Lady Alice Stanford, a society lady of note, who turned every party into a ball, bought Muratie in 1909, where she and her friends had many a glorious summer afternoon. The bubbly, a delicious, classic blend of Pinot and Chardonnay is a knockout—such a pity that Lady Alice isn’t enjoying it—she would have loved it I am sure.
Now that things are becoming somewhat more “normal” take a trip to Muratie and indulge yourself at their Farm Kitchen with some of their delicious wines. Bookings are essential.
MURATIE PHONE 021 8653302