Muratie Wine Estate
Considered one of the finest and most historic wine estates in South Africa
This storied wine estate can trace its beginnings back to 1685, when it was deeded to a German soldier, Laurens Campher, who opted to become a farmer. It was located about 40 kilometers (a little more than 30 miles) from Cape Town at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountains and in close proximity to the town of Stellenbosch. The town would eventually become the magnet for the early South African wine industry and remains so today.
The name Muratie was first used for the estate around the turn of the 20th Century. In 1927, the well-known painter George Paul Canitz became owner of the estate and raised it to a lofty perch among South African wine estates. Many of his paintings are still an integral part of the estate as well as featured images on some of the estate’s wine labels.
Present owner of the Muratie Wine Estate is the Melck Family Trust that acquired the property in 1987. The family upgraded the estate’s winemaking operation and converted the vineyards to bio-dynamic to improve their production. Muratie Estate is comprised of 45 planted hectares (a bit over 112 acres) that are all hand farmed and irrigated after harvest. It is considered one of the finest and most historic wine estates in South Africa.
Francois Conradie - Winemaker
Conradie studied Agriculture (Viticulture and Oenology) at Stellenbosch University after which he spent eighteen months in London, where he was exposed to the European wine industry.
Back in South Africa he started working at Boschendal for four years. During this time he worked at the well-known Châteaux Pichon Longville Comtesse de Lalande in Bordeaux for a harvest season, as well as a harvest season in the Rheinhessen region of Germany. In 2005, he joined Muratie Estate as winemaker/farm manager.
South Africa: Fun Facts!
• Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa is believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world.
• Walt Disney serves South African wine exclusively at its United States Animal Kingdom Lodge.
• South Africa is the only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons program.
• South Africa is the world’s largest producer of macadamia nuts.
• South Africa has the oldest wine industry outside of Europe and the Mediterranean.
• The longest wine route in the world, R62, is in South Africa.
• The world’s first heart transplant was done in South Africa in 1967 by South African Dr. Chris Barnard.
• South Africa is the sole producer of the Mercedes Benz, C Class, right hand drive vehicles.
• According to the latest Wine Industry Statistics, South Africa has become the world’s 9th largest wine producer.
• Although considered a “new world wine country,” South Africa’s winemaking tradition dates back over 350 years to February 2, 1659, when the first wine grapes were pressed.
• The top five planted grape varieties in South Africa are Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Colombard, Shiraz, and Sauvignon Blanc.
A designated sub region of Stellenbosch, the Simonsberg-Stellenbosch sub region is located in close proximity to the huge Simonsberg Nature Preserve and slightly northeast of Central Stellenbosch.
There are few wineries in the sub region, but they tend to be large by South African standards. They enjoy the wonderful amenities of the Western Cape District, and have generally better watering conditions than their higher altitude neighbors.
Wine Regions of South Africa
Considered one of the most scenic destinations in the world, the South African winelands stretch over a wide variety of locations - hugging valley floors, rolling over hills, climbing steep mountain slopes, and tucking beneath high peaks.
The vineyards find influence from the two oceans that meet at this southernmost tip of Africa (the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans), and matched with a Mediterranean climate, distinctive and varied topography, and unique soils, the South African winelands have become home to world-class wines of incredible character and complexity.