Visiting a beautiful winery must be one of the very best ways to spend a summer’s day in the Cape. We’ve been fortunate to visit many of the wine farms of the Cape Winelands over the past few years. One of our perennial favourites is Muratie. We try to visit this authentic winery near Stellenbosch at least once a year and it’s a firm favourite for us to take overseas visitors to because it carries such history.
The unique old-world ambience is almost tangible.
Guarded over by magnificent ancient oak trees, the Muratie Wine Estate has not changed much since it was home to Ansela van de Caab’s house in 1685! The original house built by Laurens Campher for his slave girl love now houses the MOK Art Gallery (an abbreviation for modern kontemporêr, the Afrikaans for modern contemporary).
Passionate guardians of Muratie’s prized heritage, the Melck family – Annatjie Melck, her sons, Rijk and Anton, and daughters Annelise and Charla – are committed to preserving the essence of a bygone era – upholding the age-old traditions of the farm, safeguarding the historic buildings, relics and memoirs, and acknowledging all those who came before. Their passion for preserving the estate’s centuries-old heritage is captured in every cobwebbed nook and cranny of this family farm.
Beautiful old Cape Dutch buildings, crumbling statues, antique wine-making equipment, the enchanting tasting room with stained glass windows and art, memoirs and belongings of previous owners tell a fascinating tale of the many extraordinary characters from the farm’s colourful past.
One of the oldest farms in South Africa, Muratie is a haven of heritage.
On our most recent visit we were treated to a tasting of the full spectrum of Muratie wines, all with tasting notes and insights from the wine maker himself, Hattingh de Villiers. We were welcomed with a glass of Lady Alice Pinot Noir Cap Classique. This was followed by a glass of Laurens Camphor oaked white blend combining predominantly Chenin Blanc, with Sauvignon Blanc, Verdehlo and Viognier – a personal favourite!
Among the other wines we sampled we enjoyed the Isabella Chardonnay Family Reserve, a limited release produced from exceptional fruit, and the 2017 vintage of the Ansela van de Caab Bordeaux-style red blend, which has been honoured with a 2021 Platter’s 5-Star rating. All of the estate’s wines are named after the intriguing personalities who have moulded Muratie into what it is today and each wine tells a charming tale on the label.
The Farm Kitchen terrace is an intimate outdoor space that is a combination of old-world charm and Bohemian aesthetics surrounded by luscious gardens. This space embodies the Melck’s food and wine culture. Rijk’s wife, Kim, an accomplished cook, working closely with her mother-in-law Annatjie, oversees the preparation of this authentic farm lunch, using fresh ingredients from Muratie’s organic vegetable garden as well as specialty foods.
On this visit, however, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch in the brand new function venue, Muratie’s Canvas, located in a spectacular setting and offering panoramic views over the Muratie vineyards, Simonsberg mountain range and Stellenbosch Valley towards Table Mountain.
The story of Muratie Wine Estate is reason enough to pay a visit to this historic farm, but there’s also an abundance of events and activities at the estate that are worth noting…
• Wine tasting and wine and chocolate pairings in the enchanting tasting room.
• Authentic farm breakfasts and lunches at the Muratie Farm Kitchen.
• Wine, food and music festivals, including the renowned Harvest Festival, for the whole family.
• Amazing trails, single track and events for mountain biking and trail running enthusiasts, including a brand-new trail centre.
• Exhibitions of contemporary art and culture at the MOK Gallery located in Ansela van de Caab’s house, dating back to 1685.
• Accommodation in George Paul Canitz’s original art studio.
• Event curation in an exquisite marquee with panoramic views, or on Muratie’s verdant terraces beneath the ancient oak trees. The Muratie Canvas offers a stylish blank slate to create the event of a lifetime.
This summer escape the stress of the year and head to Muratie to discover these magical treasures all hidden away in the exquisite Knorhoek valley.
Contact Details for Muratie
Knorhoek Road, Stellenbosch
Tel: 021 865 2330