On Women’s Day on 9th August and during the month of August known as Women’s Month, South Africa honours the strength and resilience of women and their contribution to society and country.
At Muratie, one of the oldest estates in South Africa, where the farm’s rich, centuries-old heritage is passionately preserved, ‘Every Wines Tells A Story’. With a tradition of strong and fascinating women at Muratie throughout history, that continues to this day, it is Muratie’s pleasure to present the ‘Women of Muratie’ wine collection, celebrating their respective roles in moulding Muratie as we know it today.
ANSELA VAN DE CAAB
Muratie’s flagship Bordeaux-style red blend pays tribute to Ansela van de Caab whose impressive story is written into South African folklore as an icon of the struggle against the horrors of slavery at the Cape in the late 17th century. Born and raised in the slave quarters at the Castle, Ansela fell in love with Laurens Campher, a dashing German soldier in the service of the Dutch East Indian Company, who became the first owner of Muratie. After a 14-year courtship Ansela was finally freed from slavery and was able to marry Laurens and make her home at Muratie. They planted the first vineyards at Muratie and an oak tree, to bless their marriage, which still stands on Muratie, as does a small white house, their first home, which today houses the MOK Gallery. When Laurens died, Ansela inherited the farm, becoming one of the first woman descended from a slave to own her own farm.
The Muratie Ansela van de Caab, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, is rich and velvety with concentrated dark fruits (blackcurrants, cassis) and plenty of wood spice (sandalwood, cigar box) with savoury hints of olive tapenade and a lingering finish.
Retail price: R650
LADY ALICE SARAH STANFORD
Muratie’s Lady Alice Méthode Cap Classique bubbly made from 100% Pinot Noir is a toast to a ‘lady’ for whom every day was a celebration, who was always the life and soul of the party, who infused the Muratie Manor House with merriment and joy. As the wife of a senator, who bought Muratie in 1909, Lady Alice was a high society hostess of note adept at turning every event into a dance party with jazzy tunes in the background and the notes of fine wine on the nose. Life at Muratie was filled with endless festivities: luncheons, cocktails, soirées, banquets, balls and fancy-dress parties as well as shooting, hunting and tennis gatherings.
Muratie Lady Alice Rosé MCC displays bright strawberry, cranberry and naartjie notes lifted by a refreshing zestiness offset by a shortbread richness and creamy mouthfeel.
Retail price: R280
ALBERTA ANNEMARIE CANITZ
Muratie honoured Alberta Annemarie Canitz, the feisty pioneer who became one of the first female wine farm owners in the country, by naming their Merlot after her. In 1926 the artist George Paul Canitz was out horseback riding with his daughter Alberta Annemarie when they, quite by chance, discovered Muratie. They both fell instantly in love with the property, which he purchased in due course, and when he died, he left it to her, making her one of the first female wine-farm owners in the country. A fiercely independent woman, she kept Muratie exactly as her father had left it, and she rode well into her 80s, eventually only stopping, she insisted, ‘because the horse is too old’.
Redolent of lusciously ripe plums in its youth, the Muratie Alberta Annemarie Merlot has complex layers of dark cherries, cocoa, cinnamon and toasted hazelnut that come to the fore over time. Its appealing sweetness and full-bodied richness are balanced by fresh acidity and a pinch of mixed herbs.
Retail price: R230
Muratie’s gorgeous, fortified dessert wine is named after Amber, George Paul Canitz’s beautiful model and muse whose painting hangs in the Muratie tasting toom to this day. During the 1940s the novel Forever Amber was published by Kathleen Winsor. Set in 17th century England, it told the story of the orphan Amber St Clare, who rose through the ranks of British society by sleeping with influential men (King Charles II among them). Canitz insisted (almost too emphatically) that his fortified sweet wine was named after this fictitious character, but the truth is that the renowned painter and worshipper of ‘wine, women and song’ had an Amber of his own. “To happy days and glorious nights, Forever Amber” was his famous toast.
This irresistibly seductive Muratie Amber Forever dessert wine made from Hanepoot grapes (Muscat d’Alexandrie) displays heady aromas of sweet sun-ripened grapes, musk perfume, rose petals and hints of litchis giving way to a luscious mouthful of golden raisins, fynbos honey, poached pears and honey-drenched peaches, all offset by a crisp acidity which keeps the sweetness in check.
Retail price: R180
Muratie’s lively and fruity yet dry rosé celebrates a tenacious woman, overflowing with personality, who embodies the honesty and passion of Muratie and its people. From a young age, Johanna Davids worked in the vineyards of Muratie, but never without a song on her lips. Now happily retired, she continues to bring beauty to the farm, by arranging exquisite flowers in the manor house and cellar.
In a delicate pink, the Muratie Johanna Dry Rosé entices with fresh berry aromatics, followed by wonderful fruity notes ranging from pomegranate to raspberries and strawberry sorbet. This rosé is elegant and delights with a crisp mouthfeel, making it ideal for warm and relaxing summer days and light-hearted moments of enjoyment.
Retail price: R140
For Rijk and Kim Melck, there could be only one name for their Burgundian-style Chardonnay, the name of their first child, Isabella, who today, as a young woman, is classic and elegant just like the Chardonnay.
Muratie Isabella Chardonnay is a beautifully fresh, understated and elegant Chardonnay with an enticing peach-blossom fragrance, ripe stone fruit, melon and citrus flavours with hints of hazelnuts and vanilla cream from subtle oaking, and a lingering mineral finish.
Retail price: R250
PURCHASE: The ‘Women of Muratie’ wines are available for purchase at the estate, online at https://www.muratie.co.za/wine/buy-wine/ and at select fine wine merchants around the country.
A VISIT TO MURATIE
Guarded over by ancient oak trees, a visit to Muratie today reveals a piece of history where time has largely stood still: a unique and magical environment where visitors can enjoy Muratie’s legendary wines, honest farm food and warm hospitality.