Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Muratie Flavours of Winter Festival

When we are invited to something at Muratie, we go. They are authentic; they really know how to arrange a good day of tasting wine and great food, very good company and feeling relaxed. And there is some good music. They want you to have a great time and you do. This time it was their winter festival which incorporated a mini Port festival
Could this be the first sign of spring? On our way in to the farm, there was a hillside full of what we first thought was canola/rape but, when we came closer, it was that wonderful acid yellow of oxalis that the recent berg wind conditions had brought into bloom. The same road we drove down earlier in the week, the Kromme Rhee Pad, suddenly has spring flowers along it. The oaks on Muratie are trying valiantly to put out some leaves and Signal Hill in Cape Town is swathed in a velvet cape of spring green from the recent rains
Just inside the winery this duo was making sweet music
Inside the cellar were the Calitzdorp farms. De Krans were showing their range of wines and ports, all four and a half and five stars (their Cape Vintage Reserve) in Platter and so well deserved
Also here were Peter and Yvonne Bayly with their exciting wines made from Touriga Nacional and Tinta Barocca and their ports, especially the White Port which is dry, rather like a sherry with nuts and full on raisins, were receiving great attention. Next to them, Margaux Nel and Leon Coetzee were serving tastings of the Boplaas range. Margaux is getting a solid reputation and winning lots of awards for her wines and ports. Her innovative approach to making these is gaining a lot or respect in the industry.
Muratie sales manager Michelle Stewart was enjoying the ports
Nothing nicer on a cold day than a good glass of port, white, tawny or Late Bottled vintage
Margaux pours a tasting of port
We rather liked this T-shirt - the message of the moment in SA!
Axe Hill ports too were on show but owner Mike Neebe was away travelling
Annemie and Mark were doing a great job showing the Axe Hill ports and wine, always good. These also win wine awards and are worth squirreling away as they last very well
And at the end of the cellar, there were tables to sit and enjoy some wine, port or one of the many dishes on offer in the restaurant
We also enjoyed tasting the two Louisenhof ports, especially the interestingly bottled Perroquet Cape Tawny Port made from Tinta Barocca with the fermentation stopped with an aged brandy; and the Delaire on the busy table opposite. Delaire's 2014 Cape vintage had a rich black velvet nose, with flavours of stout, wood and cherries, some nice chalky tannins with walnuts, spice, cumin and ginger
Time to have some lunch and tables were set outside in the sun, with braziers burning in case of cold. It was very pleasant
"Jy? Ja jong en julle?" says owner Rijk Melck to John. "Come and taste some wine!" offering us a glass or two of Muratie's great white blend Laurens Campher, mainly Chenin with Sauvignon Blanc, Verdelho and Viognier
Lynne asked Rijk if he was planting more dry land southern grapes to take account of our drought circumstances and global warming changing the vineyards and he already has. He already has Viognier, Chenin and the Verdelho but is planting Grenache, Mourvedre and Petite Verdot
Michelle was organising wine for the media table. We were all given vouchers for a lunch dish and a drink
One of the farm's dogs needed a quiet moment in the bushes; he was feeling a bit grumpy
And Rijk was taking some time off to enjoy the day
Joined for a brief while by Kim, his wife, who had been very busy in the kitchen
She certainly had cooked up a storm. We had a wonderful bone sucking Cape Malay mutton curry
Another lovely day in the winelands

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