Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Harvest festival at Muratie Wine Estate, Stellenbosch

An annual event we really look forward to; this Harvest is worth celebrating. We had a lot of fun, as did everyone else who attended. In a very difficult year for the wine industry because of the drought, most farms are producing slightly less because yields are down and there are smaller grapes, but they are getting very good quality. The wines are looking good. However we must have rain this winter; if we don’t, next year's harvest is doubtful
Touriga Nacional grapes ready for stomping. This is a Port varietal and there was a competition to see who could stomp the most grapes and produce the most juice. Prize of Muratie Rosé
Lots of tables on the terrace, lots of umbrellas for shade or shelter from the promised rain! There was only a very light drizzle right at the end of the afternoon, sadly
On our media table, there was this great selection of things to nibble and share. Cheese and charcuterie, bread and savoury biscuits, olives, peppadews and sun dried tomatoes, a cream cheese and basil pesto, divine caramel popcorn, a chewy corn flake & raisin crunchy and really honeyed hanepoot grapes. We had bottles of the Laurens Campher white blend and magnums of the Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon
They had great live music, two different bands played during the afternoon
Wines for buying with lunch or tasting in the tasting room
A lovely Shiraz, vintage 2003 was available for sale for R200
People having fun and lunch
Muratie’s outstanding view of the Mountain
The media table
The food station
The very popular Butter chicken. They also had Chinese noodles with chicken and a bean burrito
Owner Rijk Melck took us on a history walk
And told us some of Muratie's colourful past and about some of the past owners. The farm was founded in 1685. Ansela van de Caab was the first woman to make wine in the Cape, she was the daughter of a slave woman who had been brought to the Cape from Guinea. She fell in love with a German soldier, Laurens Campher, who was in the service of the Dutch East India Company. He would walk to Cape Town, a three day march, to see Ansela. He was granted the farm, now Muratie, by the Governor Wilhelm Adriaan van der Stel. They were only allowed to marry after she was baptised and freed and, taking their three children, he moved his family to the farm. There they built a house and began farming. Rijk's ancestor Martin Melck bought the farm in 1763
The first house Laurens and Ansela built still stands and is now an art gallery, MOK. It features modern South African art, with an emphasis on local artists, many of whom come from a disadvantaged background
Girls having a great day. René Bampfield Duggan and Yvonne Kampmeinert Pont
In the tasting room
Ah, someone stomping grapes
with his wife
and the whole family
She won the prize
The old kuipe, concrete wine tanks, have been cut open to allow seating inside. Many people are starting to use them again, some never stopped
The cellar; Muratie is dog friendly, on the lead of course as there are farm dogs
While we enjoyed ourselves, winemaker Hattingh de Villiers and his team were hard at work pressing grapes
Taking the pressed skins out for composting
The Festival also caters for children
One of the happy staff at the end of a lovely afternoon. Thank you Muratie

No comments: