History and Wine Pairing at Muratie Wine Estate
I found myself making my way to Muratie Wine Estate at the start of December. I have heard of its accolades and its vintage flair, but what I found nestled in the Knorhoek Valley profoundly exceeded every expectation I had for this wine farm.
Being a very sentimental person and preferring my wines paired with a great backstory or a touch of history, I found Muratie Wine Estate to be a perfect match for my preferences as it is a time capsule of sorts (you can read more about this personal preference here). The rich history of this piece of land is not only preserved in its antique buildings, statues, and ancient trees. It is also bottled in their wines and preserved by their winemaking traditions. “When you sip on our wines you are tasting history for yourself,” notes Rijk Melck, the owner of Muratie Wine Estate as he welcomes an intimate group of wine enthusiasts in front of the MOK-gallery which used to house a pair of star-crossed lovers some 330 years ago.
Let me take you back to the year 1685 when Laurens Campher, a European settler, acquired the piece of land nestled between mountains where we stood that day in early December, engulfed by the old-world atmosphere. Campher’s story tells of a star crossed lover named Ansela van de Caab, a slave girl who lived at the notorious Slave Lodge in Cape Town. Campher persisted in their forbidden love until her day of manumission came in 1695 when she could return with him to Muratie, as we know it today, where their legacy lives forth.
Ansela van de Caab and Laurens Campher are but some of the legacies that live on through Muratie wines.
Wines With a Story
Their flagship white and red blends are named Laurens Campher and Ansela van de Caab, honouring the first owner of Muratie and their remarkable love affair.
“Our Laurens Campher is a judiciously oaked unique white blend combining predominantly Chenin Blanc, with Sauvignon Blanc, Verdelho and Viognier. Our Ansela van de Caab, our Bordeaux-style red blend, has been honoured with a 5-star rating in the 2021 Platter’s SA Wine Guide – Ansela’s third Platter’s 5-star rating to date.” tells Rijk as he continues welcoming the group of guests to Muratie Wine Estate. Ansela and Laurens are but some of the legacies that live on through Muratie wines. Both Muratie’s Cabernet Sauvignons are named after Martin Melck, the legendary forefather who established Muratie’s Melck legacy in the 1700s. Both of their Shiraz wines pay tribute to Rijk’s late father Ronnie Melck, “a larger-than-life personality with an incredibly finely tuned palate and boundless passion for wine.”
Old-world practices are combined with modern methods to create world-class wines at Muratie Wine Estate. The grapes that go into their wines are still only hand-picked and -sorted. After this crucial part of the process, Rijk and the head winemaker, Hatting de Villiers, work their magic in their 200-year old cellar to ensure highly acclaimed wines that truly reflect their respect for old traditions.
Muratie is the place to visit in 2021. Whether you are looking to visit a wine estate for the purpose of tasting quality wines and experiencing divine food or if you just want to experience a piece of national history and culture.