Muratie is one of the oldest wineries in South Africa and is also a listed gem.
Muratie Winery - great wine culture and tradition
At this historic site, art treasures abound within architecture dating back to this country's founding era. This very special winery is located at the foothills of the impressive Simonsberg and the vineyards around the old farmhouse are probably the best for red wines in the country.
Melck and Muratie - a South African success story
The Melck family has been associated with the Muratie estate since the 18th century. Today, Dr. Rijk Melk, a physician, runs the estate as the successor to Ronnie Melk, who made great contributions to South African viticulture. Today, tradition is still a top priority. For the direct descendants of the legendary first owner Martin Melck, who emigrated from East Prussia to South Africa in the 18th century and was the founder of the Lutheran Church in Cape Town, quality and sustainability are paramount.
About 45 hectares of vineyards belong to the Muratie Estate in the Knorhoek Valley in Stellenbosch. In addition to the first Pinot Noir vines in South Africa, the vineyards also played a major role in the Pinotage grape variety - because the Pinot Noir grapes used for crossing with Cinsault come from here. Other grapes grown include Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tinta Roriz and Cabernet Franc.
On the winery everything is relaxed, so the vines grow and thrive in peace to the perfect maturity. The soils are natural, geese and ducks wander through the vineyards for pest control. The grapes are harvested exclusively by hand. A second selection of the grapes guarantees that only the best material reaches the cellar. Consequently, the grapes are gently pressed in an air cushion press and then fermented in a controlled manner, either open or in stainless steel tanks. After a few months in French oak barrels, the wines find their completion - strong in character, high quality and full of personality of the Muratie lands.
The wines and their namesakes
The Muratie estate has been in existence since the 17th century and has hosted a number of illustrious characters in its history, whose names grace the wines of Muratie:
Laurens Campher: as the first owner of the Muratie Estate, it is natural to dedicate a bottle of wine to the German soldier. But it was not his farming skills alone that earned the young lad a place in the annals of the estate, but his love for a slave girl in Cape Town. He often took the arduous and mile-long journey to meet her. Finally, in 1699, Campher took over the estate completely and was able to offer his lover a place to live.
Ansela van de Caab: Ansela was born directly into slavery and worked in the gardens of the Dutch East India Company. Together with German soldier Laurens Campher, she cherished the hope of a life of freedom. They fathered three children together. Their release in 1695 was no less valuable a gift, and their patience paid off - Campher took them to live with him on the Muratie estate, where they both lived carefree lives with their children.
Alberta Annemarie: When Alberta Annemarie, together with her father George Paul Canitz, an owner of the Muratie Estate, first discovered the estate by chance during a horseback ride, she immediately fell in love with the beautiful spot. Canitz bought the estate and planted Pinot Noir vines - the first in South Africa. After his death, Alberta took over the estate and from then on was considered the country's first female winemaker. Alberta changed nothing about the charming Muratie Estate and rode her horse until old age. At least until she said of herself that the horse would be too old.
Amber: In addition to wine, the winery's portfolio also includes Amber sweet wine. Allegedly, George Paul Canitz named the dessert wine from Muratie Estate after the fictional character Amber St. Clare from the novel Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor. Another theory is that the amateur artist found his muse in a beautiful woman and dedicated this wine to her.
Martin Melck: The Prussian mercenary was the first Melck on the Muratie estate in 1763, which he bought for his daughter Anna Chaterina. Martin Melck was a Lutheran, but angered by the prohibition to live his faith freely with other followers. So he secretly built a schuilkerk, a hidden church for himself and other Lutherans in Cape Town.
Ronnie Melck: After the estate had wandered back and forth in the hands of numerous personalities over decades and centuries, it passed again to the Melck family in 1987. Ronnie Melck, a direct descendant of Martin Melck, fulfilled his dream and led the Muratie winery into the present. Today he still watches over the happenings, under the trees in the highest place on the farm.
Ben Prins: Winemaker Ben Prins was a stubborn man who didn't tolerate mischief - certainly not when it came to making wine. Perfectionist and traditionalist, Ben Prins knew the craft like no other and is still remembered today at Canvas Muratie. So in his mind, he still wanders barefoot through the cellar and shows up as port in a glass.
Isabella: The current owners of Muratie Estate Rijk and Kim Melck run the winery with untamed passion and a constant awareness of the farm's storied past. Nevertheless, the path of the winery points to a golden future, which can be tasted in the Chardonnay wine thanks to the care and dedication. Thus, of course, the daughter Isabella's name is representative of easy-going joie de vivre.
And these are the grape varieties grown at Muratie Estate:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cabernet Franc
- Tinta Barocca
- Tinta Francisca
- Sauvignon Blanc
More information aboutMuratie Estate
|Company Name:||Muratie Estate|
|City:||R44 Koelenhof, Stellenbosch|
|Contact & Web|
|Telephone:||+27 21 865 23306|
|Fax:||+27 21 865 2790|
|Company Owner:||Melck Family Trust|
|Managing Director:||Ronald Rijk Melck|