Muratie: A Journey of Wine-Tasting + Rich Heritage

Muratie: A Journey of Wine-Tasting + Rich Heritage

Turn back time at this authentic family farm in Stellenbosch.

Arriving at Muratie is like stepping into a time capsule. Paths wind under ancient oaks, through banks of clivias, to the old werf, where hand-painted signs and barrels indicate you’ve arrived at the cellars. A gracious manor house and an even-older original farmhouse from 1685 form the sides of the square. Picturesquely enclosed between forest slopes and rolling vineyards at the top of the Knorhoek Valley outside Stellenbosch, Muratie has distant views of Table Mountain, especially glorious at sunset.

The Best Wine Farms in Stellenbosch: Muratie Vineyards

But it’s the layers of stories at this family farm that captivate the imagination, along with its legendary cobwebs, award-winning wines and an abundance of things to do and see. Between mountain-biking trails and breakfast, an art gallery, antiques, a gin distillery, wine-tasting and lunch, it’s easy to while away a whole day here.

Family affair

The Best Wine Farms in Stellenbosch: Muratie Family

The Melck family are Muratie’s current custodians; owner Rijk Melck and his dogs have kept the legacy of the colourful collection of characters who preceded them alive. The cellar walls are lined with portraits and newspaper clippings, family trees and maps – a starting point to fascinating stories about previous owners and wine-makers, such as bohemian artist, George Paul Canitz, and his redoubtable daughter Alberta Annemarie. Then, going back further in time to the Melcks’ ancestors who owned Muratie from 1763 to 1897, and further still to the founders of the farm, Laurens Campher, and his wife Ansela van de Caab, who planted the massive oak tree beside the cellars back in 1699.

Tasting the stories

Things To Do In Stellenbosch Muratie

The tasting room is carved out of what used to be four concrete fermentation tanks in the wine cellar, the soft patina of wine and beeswax a backdrop to Canitz’s landscape paintings and a wood-burning stove keeping things cosy. On sunny days you can sit out on the tasting terrace under the oaks. More stories unfold as you taste the wines, each named for a notable character in the farm’s history. There are three wine-tasting options and a pairing: 

The flagship tasting

The Best Wine Farms in Stellenbosch: Muratie Wine

All five wines have earned Muratie a place on the connoisseur’s tasting map. 

  • Lady Alice MCC 2017 (a sparkling pinot noir)
  • Isabella 2020 (a chardonnay named after Rijk’s daughter)
  • Expression Session (Mourvèdre 2020, only 360 bottles made)
  • Ansela van de Caab 2019 (flagship Bordeaux blend) 
  • Ben Prins, Cape Vintage 2018 (a port-style wine)

Cost R150

The premium tasting   

  • Laurens Campher 2019 (flagship white blend) 
  • Isabella 2020 (a chardonnay named after Rijk’s daughter)
  • George Paul Canitz 2018 (pinot noir)
  • Ronnie Melck 2018 (shiraz) 
  • Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Cost R95

The classic tasting

An easy-drinking experience.

  • Melck’s Sauvignon Blanc 2021
  • Melck’s Blended Red 2018 (shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, Mourvèdre) 
  • Alberta Annamarie 2018 (merlot)
  • Ronnie Melck 2018 (shiraz)
  • Amber Forever (a fruity muscat dessert wine, complete with artist/muse story of passion) 

Cost R60

The chocolate pairing

Muratie’s Lady Alice MCC, Ben Prins Cape Vintage and Amber Forever dessert wine paired with three handcrafted Von Geusau chocolates.
Cost R85
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Contact 021 865 2330, info@muratie.co.za
Book Now

The Farm Kitchen

The Best Wine Farms in Stellenbosch: Muratie Food

Muratie’s reputation for generous farm hospitality started with Rijk’s mother, Tannie Annatjie, serving up traditional Karoo dishes such as lamb afval (offal) in the manor house. Later on his wife, Kim, cooked hearty lamb shanks for visitors. Now chef Riaan van Schalkwyk preserves the authentic farm kitchen mood with simple and beautifully executed dishes: lamb shank; mushroom risotto; rustic burgers and fresh fish with chardonnay cream – generous portions served with vegetables from the farm garden.

The Farm Kitchen is also known and loved for its classic farm breakfast and avocado-and-poached-eggs option – the ideal spot to refuel after a run or mountain-bike ride on the trails.

Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 3.30pm
Contact 021 865 2330, dine@muratie.co.za
Enquire Now

Mountain trails

The Best Wine Farms in Stellenbosch: Muratie Trails

The farm’s trails connect with the Simonsberg Trail system, giving access to up to 35km of singletrack heaven through forest and mountain slopes. They are maintained and managed by Dirtopia, which has an on-site office and ablution facilities. There’s also a circular 3.5km hiking route (with steps) taking in the viewpoint at Gillooly’s – look out for the popular sunset/full moon hikes.
Contact Dirtopia: 078 343 3572, info@dirtopia.co.za

Explore the werf

The Best Wine Farms in Stellenbosch: Muratie Gallery

Art is just as much part of Muratie’s DNA as wine. Sculptures are tucked casually around the gardens, and an extensive collection of works by former owner, George Paul Canitz, fills the walls of the tasting room and restaurant. The original 1685 farmhouse on the werf is home to Mok, an art gallery that hosts three rooms of regularly changing exhibits by contemporary local artists. A barn next door houses an outpost of Stellenbosch’s famous Oom Samie se Winkel where you can browse antiques and vintage finds, then pop into 9 Orphans gin distillery for an intriguing taste of gins made from acorns or prickly pears.

A venue for all seasons

The Best Wine Farms in Stellenbosch: Muratie View
@ineckephotography

The huge, permanent, clear-sided marquee on a vine-clad slope just above the werf has 360-degree views to the Simonsberg on one side and Table Mountain on the sunset side. Muratie hosts regular live-music evenings here and it’s a versatile venue for weddings and events.
Contact 078 021 8537 events@muratiecanvas.co.za

With so many stories and its sense of living history, Muratie makes a memorable day out for locals and visitors, who soon feel like they are part of the family.

Distance from CT 45 minutes
Child-friendly? Yes
Pet-friendly? No. Rijk’s dog, Saartjie, considers the farm her exclusive territory.
Contact 021 865 2330/6, info@muratie.co.za
Where to find it Muratie Wine Estate, Knorhoek Road, Koelenhof, Stellenbosch

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 09 June 2022