Muratie Harvest Festival 2020

February is harvest season in Cape Town and during harvest time the winelands are buzzing with energy and what better way to celebrate the harvest season than with quality wine, great food, music and stomping of grapes.

The Melck family hosted their annual Harvest Festival under the ancient oaks that guard this historic wine estate, Muratie Wine Estate in Stellenbosch this past weekend.

Hidden away in the exquisite Knorhoek valley, with a perfect view of Table Mountain, Muratie is as old as history itself, with a unique, almost tangible old-world ambience. The passion for preserving the estate’s rich, centuries-old heritage is captured in every nook and cranny of this family farm.

Beautiful old Cape Dutch buildings, crumbling statues, antique wine-making equipment, and the quaint tasting room with its cobwebs, stained glass windows and art, are all set in a secret garden, a lush green haven of peace and tranquillity.

It turned out to be a scorcher of a day with no clouds in the sky and no wind to blow us away. A glass of ice cold Muratie Melck’s Sauvignon Blanc 2019 went down like a treat.

Plenty of green aromas on the nose give way to some tropical hints on the palate – think pineapple and guava – with some preserved lemons and green gooseberries. Acidity walks a beautifully-balanced line of being deliciously refreshing without being tart, and the lingering finish rounds the wine off in style.

Grape Stomping was so much fun and definitely something one should do if you have never jumped barefoot into a barrel of juicy grapes before. The feeling of squashing little red juicy grapes between your toes, is quite soothing, cold and messy, but you’ll feel like a kid again. It is a unique way to connect with the wine and learn to appreciate the effort that goes into making a single bottle by understanding the method.

There were tractor rides every 30 minutes for young and old. It took us all the way to the top of the vineyards with beautiful panoramic views of Table Mountain to set a beautiful background.

The amazing Muratie team treated us to delicious platters of food and wine. The vetkoek and arancini balls were just absolutely delightful.

MURATIE ISABELLA CHARDONNAY 2018 – If you love Chardonnay you will love this wine. Breathe in the heady scents of caramelized pineapples, hazelnuts, citrus fruit and cream before taking a mouthful of ripe, yellow tropical fruits, marmalade and lemon meringue pie flavours supported by creamy spice and vanilla all of which linger together into an endless finish. Named after the beautiful Isabella Melck, the grapes for this wine were hand harvested before being whole-bunch pressed.

MURATIE MARTIN MELCK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 – This 100% Simonsberg Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon shows a rich ruby colour with cassis, plum and black berries on the nose. On the palate there is a great balance and integration of fruit and oak. The wine has a strong mid-palate and offers a full, lingering aftertaste.

If you like cobwebs and history, then you’ll love a unique Muratie wine tasting experience where time has seemingly stood still. As you walk inside you get the feeling of walking through a time machine where you are greeted with old paintings and stained glass and off course 40-year-old cobwebs as thick as wool in the windows.

We tasted the following wines in the tasting room:

MURATIE MELCK’S BLENDED RED 2014 – Aromas of sweet berries, chocolate and spice are followed by an elegant mouthful of lush black fruit, some stewed plums and hints of cloves. Silky tannins add backbone to the fruit bomb whilst subtle oak adds texture and a touch of weight and fresh acidity makes for a clean, lengthy finish.

MR MAY GRENACHE NOIR 2017 – The nose shows ample fruit, with freshly picked blackberries, cassis, raspberries, and a touch of floral notes. The palate has earthy, savoury flavours along with delicate dry tannins and a soft freshness to carry the fruit. Integrated tannins with a seductive round finish.

MURATIE RONNIE MELCK SHIRAZ 2016 – Bright and enticing, this deep ruby red wine has an abundance of spice on the nose – lots of black and white pepper with hints of dark chocolate and rich fruit cake. The palate has plenty of black plummy fruit with some prunes, smoked meats and mulberry notes, all wrapped up in silky tannins with smoky spicy oak discreetly in the background. A lengthy finish suggests this wine has plenty of potential for ageing.

MURATIE ANSELA VAN DE CAAB 2017 – This is a classic Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Sauvignon gives the wine a structured backbone, which is enhanced by the Cabernet Franc, with the Merlot adding the upfront fruit flavours. Dark, intense and brooding, the nose promises much – cedar wood, cigar box, blackcurrants and a distinctive herbaceous and spicy edge courtesy of the Cabernet Franc – and the palate more than delivers on that promise with rich, savoury flavours of black olive tapenade, cassis, some perfumed sandalwood and a long finish which develops from fruit to savoury, and ends with an enticing combination of the two.

For more information and future events at Muratie:

Tel: 021 865 2330

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Sharese Hunt

Love all things wine-related.

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