Muratie Estate pays tribute to its rich heritage with new summer menu and range of iconic wines

Wednesday, 19 December, 2012
Muratie Estate
At Muratie, the passion for preserving the estate’s rich heritage and the intriguing human stories woven into the very fabric of its centuries old history, are captured in every nook and cranny of this family farm, where the unique old-world ambience is almost tangible.
A visit to Muratie today, still guarded over by ancient oak trees, reveals a piece of history where time has largely stood still. The original open fermenters and winemaking implements in the werf that greet you on arrival; the rickety cob-webbed tasting room; the renovated original old fermentation tanks, with their tartaric encrusted walls, where lunches and functions are held; the antique carpets, furniture and original art; all adorn a unique and magical environment where you can still enjoy good wine, honest farm food, and great hospitality.

Even the wines reflect a tangible sense of time suspended. The Melck family recently honoured the estate's fascinating history by naming all Muratie’s Iconic Wines after extraordinary characters from the farm’s colourful past, each with its own enchanting story described on the back label. And there are a myriad stories reaching as far back as the 17th century, making Muratie one of the oldest wineries in the Cape Winelands.

Following suit, Muratie’s Farm Kitchen’s new summer menu also pays tribute to some of these intriguing personalities. Light lunches with freshly baked farm bread are served in the courtyard garden beneath the ancient oak trees. Rijk's wife Kim, and Leentjie Leask who recently qualified from the Institute of Culinary Arts (ICA), oversee the preparation of this honest farm lunch, using fresh ingredients from Muratie's organic vegetable garden and specialty foods from highly esteemed local suppliers like Dalewood Fromage and Wild Peacock Food Emporium. The new dishes include:

Ansela van de Caab Platter
Suggested wine – Ansela van de Caab (Bordeaux-styled red blend)
The much spoken about love affair between Muratie’s first owner, Laurens Campher, and his slave-girl sweetheart, Ansela van de Caab, is captured in this robust platter of flirtatious taste and local favourites including assorted cheeses, fresh farm bread, an array of cold meats, dips, preserves and koeksisters.

Laurens Campher Salmon Trout
Suggested wine – Laurens Campher 2011 (White blend)
A distinctive meal of smoked salmon trout, fresh farm bread, cream cheese, onion, parsley, lemon and black pepper - a confident mix of flavours that capture Laurens Campher’s unique personality that made him a legend in the Cape.

George Paul Canitz Springbok Carpaccio
Suggested wine – George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir
George Paul, passionate artist and pinot noir pioneer, had a definite flair for blending a rich combination of colours, as does this platter which brings together a palette of flavours, comprising springbok carpaccio, fresh rocket and homemade organic red onion marinade topped with Parmesan shavings.

Alberta Annemarie Offal
Suggested wine- Alberta Annemarie Merlot
Brawn (Jellied lambs offal) served with farm baked bread and salad. This traditional summertime dish pays tribute to the feisty lady, daughter of GP Canitz, who owned and ruled Muratie from 1958 until 1987.

Isabella Chicken Salad
Suggested wine – Isabella Chardonnay
Seared sesame and lemon chicken strips served with mozzarella, olives and organic lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and marinated red onion. Light and fresh with a hint of playfulness, this salad captures the youthful spirit of Isabella, Rijk and Kim Melck’s eldest daughter.

Muratie’s range of iconic wines include:

Muratie Ansela van de Caab 2009:
This cabernet sauvignon-led Bordeaux-style blend honours Ansela, whose remarkable story is written into South African folklore as an icon of the struggle against the horrors of slavery at the Cape in the late 17th century. Rated 4½ stars by the Platter’s 2013 Wine Guide, this wine is described as “a handsome figure: opulent fruitcake perfume jumps out of the glass, gutsy and vibrant and packed with flavour.” Approximate retail price: R175.

Muratie Laurens Campher 2011
This unique blended white wine pays tribute to the first owner of Muratie, the passionate and determined young German soldier who fell in love with a slave-girl at the Castle in Cape Town. 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. When she was eventually emancipated, Ansela returned as Laurens’ wife to Muratie. The oak tree she planted to bless their marriage still stands on Muratie, as does a small white house, their first home, built for them by Laurens. The wine is a blend of chenin blanc, verdehlo, viognier and sauvignon blanc, with intense flavours ranging from honeysuckle to pineapple, and a sturdy backbone redolent of the eponymous Laurens Campher. All the cultivars except the sauvignon blanc were barrel fermented. The wine was matured in barrel for six months. Approximate retail price: R95.

Muratie George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir 2010
This wine honours the former owner of Muratie who had two great passions in life: painting and pinot noir. Painting into his 70’s he earned fame both locally and internationally. But as the first ever pinot noir grower in the country, it was his palate for pinot that earned him the greatest renown. With hints of strawberries, fresh cherries and French oak and a delicate long finish, the George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir salutes the artist ... and his palate for pinot. Approximate retail price: R160.

Muratie Alberta Annemarie Merlot 2008
Previously called Muratie Merlot, this wine pays tribute to Alberta Annemarie, daughter of GP Canitz: a remarkable woman who, upon her father’s death, became one of the first female wine farm owners in the country. This wine displays aromas of cherry, cranberry and a hint of chocolate, followed by blackcurrants and dark chocolate on the palate. Approximate retail price: R90.

Isabella Chardonnay 2011
Named after the beautiful Isabella Melck, this Burgundian style Chardonnay displays elegant notes of citrus and a lingering mineral finish. With perfectly integrated wood and a juicy fruit centre, this wine appeals to both wooded and unwooded chardonnay drinkers. Approximate retail price: R95.

Muratie Ronnie Melck Shiraz 2009
This wine, previously called Muratie Shiraz, was renamed to honour family patriarch and legendary winemaker, Ronnie Melck, who loved Shiraz. This intense wine offers rich floral and berry notes with hints of green peppercorns and gamey nuances, supported by a sweet spiciness with a vanilla, crème brûlée aftertaste. Approximate retail price: R100.

Wherever you are on the Muratie estate you cannot help being moved by a sense of the many generations who have lived and worked there. The buildings, the artefacts and even the shrubs and trees exude an aura of the colourful past reaching towards an even more fruitful future. So take time out to explore this magical environment. The many and varied attractions at Muratie include:

• Wine tasting daily between 10am and 5pm in Muratie’s rickety cob-webbed old-world tasting room;
• The Melck family’s home-made preserves and other delicious treats on sale at the tasting room: nougat made from their own free range eggs, honey from the hives in the blue gum grove on the hill, home baked rusks, and green fig preserves and apricot jam made by Rijk’s mother Annatjie, and his wife Kim, from fruit grown on the farm;
• The new summer menu at the Farm Kitchen restaurant;
• Winery and history tours by appointment;
• GP Canitz Art Gallery in the refurbished historic concrete tanks in the cellar;
• Self-catering accommodation in GP Canitz's original art studio which he built with bricks made on the farm;
• Functions in the historic cellar;
• Private tastings in the Kneipzimmer, GP Canitz's drinking den;
• Regular music concerts and art exhibitions.

Tel: +27.218652330 • Email: • Website: