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Saluting The Culture Of Food And Wine At Muratie Estate

1 April 2021  -  Muratie Estate

“Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life's most civilized pleasures”. These are the words of the late Michael Broadbent MW, legendary wine critic, writer, author and auctioneer - a towering figure in the international world of wine.

However, these could so easily be the words of Annatjie Melck, foodie legend and chatelaine of Muratie, where the culture of food and wine is an intrinsic ingredient of the Melck family’s history, and life at Muratie today.

When Ronnie Melck, charismatic wine industry legend with a boundless passion for life bought Muratie in 1987, fulfilling a lifetime dream of returning the historic estate to the Melck family, he and Annatjie moved into the Muratie Manor House.  “There had been so many interesting characters shaping Muratie’s past, but now it was our turn”, reminisces Annatjie. “We infused new life into the old homestead, establishing our very own culture of food and wine. There was hardly ever an empty seat at our enormous dining room table. There would be music, the wine would flow, the kitchen would be a hive of activity, and the aroma of food would infuse the atmosphere of our Muratie home. Wonderful stories were told, and friends from all over the world were made.

Since Ronnie’s untimely passing in September 1995, Annatjie has continued to live in the Manor House and express her love of food in so many different ways. Determined to uphold the food and wine culture of Stellenbosch and the Winelands, she, together with like-minded friends, founded the Fynproewersgilde, the famous Stellenbosch Wine and Food Festival, and the iconic landmark, Oom Samie se Winkel, in Dorp Street. She also authored the highly acclaimed ‘Koljander’ where she showcases over 100 recipes interwoven with her life’s journey from the plains of the Great Karoo to Muratie. Today, Annatjie continues to work closely with her daughter-in-law Kim, also an accomplished foodie, overseeing the preparation of Muratie’s range of preserves and homemade treats available in the tasting room, and the authentic farm lunch at Muratie’s popular Farm Kitchen Restaurant. Kim describes the Farm Kitchen as an embodiment of the Melck’s food and wine culture, an extension of their home. “I have my apron on and Rijk pours the wine. We do it all and we hope for our guests that it is like being hosted in someone’s home, with warmth and friendliness.”


It comes as no surprise that Annatjie has developed a treasure trove of her own very special recipes and loves to explore the very best pairings with Muratie’s wines, all of which are named after intriguing personalities intertwined with the story of the historic estate.




Eastertime is pickled fish time, especially in the Cape, where this delicious traditional dish has been eaten for hundreds of years. Annatjie recommends that you enjoy her Pickled Fish with a glass of Muratie Laurens Campher 2019, an elegant yet intense white blend with gorgeous stone fruit flavours of peach and apricot, hints of citrus and a fresh acidity all wrapped in creamy oak. This unique judiciously oaked white blend, named in honour of Muratie’s first owner Laurens Campher -a young German soldier who fell in love with a slave-girl at the Castle in Cape Town - combines predominantly Chenin Blanc with smaller amounts of Sauvignon Blanc, Verdehlo and Viognier.




For the fish

1kg Yellow Tail or Cape Salmon (Geelbek)
45ml lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
15ml sunflower oil

For the sauce

30ml Sunflower oil
2 garlic cloves crushed
1kg onions - cut into thick rings
15ml curry powder
7,5ml turmeric
500ml vinegar - 250 ml white and 250ml brown vinegar
250ml water
125ml sugar
1x 420g canned apricots
5ml salt
2-3 slices fresh ginger
4 lemon leaves or bay leaves
2,5ml ground cumin
2,5ml ground fennel
6 whole allspice
Pinch of cayenne pepper


For the fish

Pre heat oven to 200˚C
Fleck the fish, cut into portions and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper towel
Pour the lemon juice over the fish and season to taste
Heat the oil in an oven pan
Place the fish portions in the pan and bake for about 15 minutes until nearly done
Remove from the oven and keep warm in the warming drawer

For the sauce

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot and sear the onions and garlic until the onions have become transparent
Add the curry and turmeric and fry for one minute
Add the rest of the ingredients, heat to boiling point and cook for 3 minutes

Pour the warm sauce over the warm fish in the oven pan
Let the dish cool down thoroughly (do not cover the dish)
Keep the pickled fish refrigerated for 3 days prior to serving to allow the fish to absorb all the flavours
Serve the pickled fish with salad, a hardboiled egg and a glass of Muratie Laurens Campher 2019


Every wine tells a story at Muratie, the historic Stellenbosch Estate that dates back to 1685.

The story:The Laurens Campher, Muratie’s flagship white blend 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, he frequently walked the 64 kilometres to Cape Town and back, a three-day trip, to see his sweetheart Ansela. When she was eventually emancipated, Laurens and Ansela were married and Ansela and their three children joined Laurens at 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.

In the cellar: This uniquely South African white blend combines predominantly Chenin Blanc (54%) with smaller amounts of Sauvignon Blanc (30%), Verdelho (12%), and Viognier (4%). Components were vinified separately, barrel fermented then meticulously blended after judicious oaking in a combination of new and older 500L French Oak barrels (11 months). 40% underwen tmalolactic fermentation ensuring a softer acidity This blend is a labour of love, much like Laurens’ love for Ansela van de Caab.

Tasting Notes: For all its freshness, elegance and focus, the wine’s flavours are complex and intense, ranging from bright lemon, fresh pineapple, apricots and juicy nectarine to more concentrated lime marmalade as well as caramel and cream (from barrel fermentation and 11 months of maturation in mostly older French oak). On the palate the initial impression is floral (heady honeysuckle) finishing with white peaches and apricots, with hints of citrus and a fresh acidity - great persistence promising enjoyment over at least five years.


Purchase: Muratie Laurens Campher 2019 is available at the estate, online at and at select fine wine merchants around the country.

Approximate retail price: R190