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Chilling at the Harvest festival at Muratie


12 March 2018

Muratie is one of the oldest wine farms in the Cape. In 1685, a 'certain piece of land' was allocated to Laurens Campher by governor Simon vd Stel. Laurens then farmed with his wife Ansela van de Caab, a freed slave from the Castle in Cape Town, who was christened and lived on Muratie with Laurens where they raised 3 children.

Muratie is an old favourite with many people, and the farm has been in the hands of the Melck family twice in fact, first in the 1700s, and more recently when Rijk's father, Ronnie Melck purchased it in 1987, thus satisfying a life-long dream to have the farm back in the family.  The farm's family and ancestors are  honoured by having some of the wines named after them - the Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon (delicious, full-bodied) and the fresh Laurens Campher White, which we enjoyed with our lunch.

I remember visiting the farm in my early 20s and the cobwebs that were there are still evident in the charming and artistic wine-tasting area!  The farm kept its real farmy feeling and quirky charm and seems this will continue with their young winemakers Hattingh De Villiers and assistant Izak (Sakkie ) Mouton. Their wines are unique and memorable.

I was invited to join their Harvest Festival this last weekend and what a relaxing afternoon we had, listening to music by Klassik, followed by their regular band Kitchen Jammin' Blues, who really ensured that we took chilling to a new level!

The farm has added a kitchen and art gallery over the last few years, and the gallery is housed in the 300+ year-old home that Laurens built. I would urge you to visit just to admire (and perhaps buy if you are feeling flush) some of the extraordinary art works curated.  I particularly loved the oval portraits by Sandra Hanekom, with each one being dramatically colourful, showing plenty of intricate detail!  The very talented Thembalethu Manqunyana also displays his modern Picasso-inspired works there, and really liked the stone faces he does.

Take my word for it - it is really worth a visit. Take a drive along to the Simonsberg up to Muratie and spend some time relaxing there, sipping on their delicious wines and partaking of their splendid kitchen and artistic fair.