Over the years I have made many visits to Muratie mostly to take part in trail runs, or to walk their scenic trails. On each visit, I saw something I hadn’t seen before. But two things are consistent, the palpable sense of history and the warmth of the Melck hospitality.

In my early January post on Muratie (6 January), I mentioned that I would be tasting a couple of their wines, and I just have…

They were the Ronnie Melck Shiraz 2017 and the Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 like most everything at Muratie they too have a sense of history and a story.

The Melcks and winemaker Hattingh de Villiers have combined to make wines that manage to capture the Muratie history in each bottle,

Hattingh de Villiers

Shiraz man that I am, I tasted the Muratie Ronnie Melck Shiraz 2017 first (what else!)

“As a direct descendant of Martin Melck (who owned Muratie from 1763 to 1781), Ronnie rekindled a centuries-old love affair and fulfilled a lifelong dream when he bought this gracious old wine farm in 1987, welcoming it back into the Melck fold. Humble, honest and full of integrity, he lived for Muratie and is the only owner whose remains rest here, under the trees on the highest part of the farm.”

The Ronnie Melck Shiraz had everything I look for spiciness, black pepper, dark stone fruit and berries. A thinking wine that offers so much that it really requires slow sipping and savouring. Good things should not be rushed, a bottle of the Ronnie Melck and I spent time together until my wine-ometer said enough wine for the moment…. I continued the next day, until there was no more!

 A really lovely Shiraz and a steal at R190 a bottle

Then I tried the Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. “Martin Melck  owned Muratie from 1763 to 1781. A mercenary from Prussia who acquired immense wealth at the Cape, primarily through marriage, he was also a devout Lutheran who felt so aggrieved that members of his faith were forbidden to form a congregation that he built a ‘schuilkerk’ (hidden church) alongside his own home in Cape Town. His greatest hope was that Lutherans would one day be able to worship openly–and indeed this came to pass one year before his death. His greatest love, though, was for his daughter, Anna Catherina, for whom he bought Muratie.”

I hesitated before opening this Cab, its reputation suggested keeping for a while, but I did not have that luxury, it needed tasting now so “off with your cork Mr Melck!”

I found it interesting that the Cabernet Sauvignon was only kept in 10% new oak and that the grapes were sourced from three different blocks. The wine brooded with dark berries and stone fruit and spiciness. It demanded slow sipping and contemplation, certainly not a wine with which to ‘down the hatch’ and yes it drank superbly and yes, I am sure keeping it for a few years would have delivered even greater pleasure.

It is modestly priced at about R200 a bottle.

Two really lovely wines paired with two slices of Muratie history and there are more stories and more wines to discover – the wine trail lies ahead…

MURATIE HARVEST FESTIVAL – 6 and 7 March from 11h30

Muratie’s Harvest Festival, always an annual highlight on wine lovers’ calendars, will be taking place over two days this year, in order to accommodate Covid regulations, with smaller, numbers and responsible social distancing. So, join the Melck family on either Saturday 6th or Sunday 7th March 2021 for a Muratie Harvest Festival Luncheon under the ancient oaks that guard this historic wine estate, for a more intimate family event featuring good food, fine wine, great company, live music and lots of fun stomping newly harvested grapes.

 After a welcome glass of wine on arrival, visitors will no doubt want to join in the fun and laughter “stomping” grapes, and tasting Muratie’s well-loved, award winning wines.

 A long lazy alfresco lunch prepared by Muratie’s Farm Kitchen will follow accompanied by Muratie wines. Relax and savour a memorable afternoon of live music performed by the popular Kitchen Jammin’ Blues Band.

Due to current regulations, there will be limited seats available. The entrance fee is R150 per person. Kindly note full payment will be required in advance to secure your booking. All Covid protocol will be adhered to. 

For bookings, please contact Tanja on or 021 865 2330

ISSUED BY:  Posy & Jeremy Hazell – Public Relations and Social Media Consultants

Dried Fruit Month: Celebrating the Real Goodness of Dried Fruit

South Africa’s first-ever Dried Fruit Month kicks off on 1 March 2021. The campaign, which is spearheaded by Dried Fruit South Africa aims to remind and educate consumers about the natural goodness of dried fruit. At the same time, it also wants to dispel some of the myths that have arisen around this wholesome pantry staple in recent years.

South Africa’s inaugural Dried Fruit Month will run for the duration of March each year. The underlying theme of Dried Fruit Month is to challenge consumers d to ‘get real’ about including dried fruit into a more wholesome and balanced lifestyle. Dried Fruit Month will consist of an online consumer engagement campaign, an influencer education drive, as well as partnerships with select national retailers.

The result is the Miss Real Deal Pageant which will run throughout Dried Fruit Month.  This is not a pageant in the traditional sense where members of the public can enter. However, the feel of a stereotypical beauty pageant acted as inspiration. Instead of pretty women vying for the crown, the contestants in this line-up represent different types of dried fruit. And they are all quite inspirational.

The premise is that the seven dried fruit contestants are all ready to prove that they are the real deal when it comes to being the ultimate snack. Each authentically shares their unique traits and versatility while being fully body positive, full of life and here to stay.

The campaign will be hosted online for the duration of Dried Fruit Month and the seven contestants can be followed on Facebook and Instagram where they will inspire, inform and entertain the public. And prove that they have what it takes to #GetReal.

A new series of wholesome recipes developed by a team of local nutritionists will be released throughout the month. Also available as a download is the Dried Fruit SA Kids Activity E-Book. It was created to support parents to help engage their children in healthy eating experiences, to teach them to recognise different dried fruits, and to encourage them to experiment with new foods, tastes flavours, colours and textures.

If you’re not that familiar with the benefits of dried fruit, here are 12 reasons why you should snack on goodness you can trust:

  1. They are great for lifestyle diets, such as gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan.
  2. Most prunes and raisins are generally preservative free.
  3. The long shelf-life means that dried fruit can be enjoyed all year round.
  4. They are a fantastic source of fibre.
  5. Dried peaches have 50% more protein than most dried fruit, which means they are ideal for a vegan diet.
  6. Raisins have the same benefits as berries, which contain flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 
  7. Raisins, paired with a source of vitamin C, help the body to absorb iron.
  8. They are a concentrated form of nutrients, which means you need small amounts to reap the same benefits as fresh fruit.
  9. They are naturally cholesterol and sodium free.
  10. Apricots also contain sorbitol, which means they are a great snacking option for people suffering from diabetes.
  11. They are considered nutrient dense, which means they can aid in reaching specific nutrition goals.
  12. Some dried fruits, like raisins, have cholesterol-lowering qualities.






Bayede! Means Hail the King and is the first and only “Royal Signature” and “By Appointment To” trademark for the African continent, which reflects Royalty, history, culture and quality. Each bottle of wine has a warrant to display the Royal arms; the official Royal crest of the Zulu Royal household.

Up until recently, I had heard of Bayede Wines but had never tasted any of  them.

I have just tried their King Shaka Zulu Pinotage 2017 and their King Shaka Zulu Chenin Blanc 2019.

Before I did, I thought I’d have a look at their performance: Both were awarded Double Gold at the Michelangelo Awards 2020, but less heralded in the  2021 Platter’s.  As a rule, I check performance after tasting a wine to see how my judgement of it compares. In this case, the discrepancy in their ratings of the two wines had left me curious.

As is all my wine sharing these COVID-19, we tasted the wine outdoors in our garden. A friend of mine had a sip and said he liked it, tried the other and said the same. Hearing that, we took full glasses and just sipped and chatted and soon refilled our glasses. Before we were aware of it, both bottles had been emptied.

Two delicious and enjoyable easy-drinkers and at a price that’s hard to resist.

At about only R65 a bottle each…..need more be said?



The world will never forget the year 2020, with the dark clouds of the Coronavirus turning lives upside down in South Africa and across the globe.

“But perhaps, changing the lens through which we see the world can help us find the silver lining amidst the amidst the pandemic’s dark disruption, to remain grateful and hopeful and optimistic during these challenging times.”  says Ankia Niemann, Head of Marketing and Sales at Robertson Winery. “A wide variety of prestigious awards received for our wines – 19 Medals – towards the end of ‘a year to forget’ were welcomed with open arms, reaffirming our reputation as a producer of excellent wines at affordable prices.”

I have just tasted two of their award winnings wines, the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc and the 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, taking their price points into account, each is really easy and enjoyable drinking and excellent value for money. The Cab at R75 a bottle and the Sauvi at R60 a bottle more than fit that bill!

How’s this for an array of successful wines!


Gold: Ultra Value Wine Challenge 2020

Gold: Gold Wine Awards 2020


Gold: Ultra Value Wine Challenge 2020

Gold: Gold Wine Awards 2020

Silver: Veritas 2020


Gold: Gold Wine Awards 2020


Silver: Ultra Value Wine Challenge 2020

Gold: Gold Wine Awards 2020


Double Gold: Ultra Value Wine Challenge 2020

Gold: Gold Wine Awards 2020


Gold: Ultra Value Wine Challenge 2020

Gold: Gold Wine Awards 2020


Silver: Ultra Value Wine Challenge 2020

Gold: Gold Wine Awards 2020


Silver: Ultra Value Wine Challenge 2020


Gold: Rosé Rocks 2020


Gold: SA Sparkling Wine Championships 2020


Gold: Ultra Value Wine Challenge 2020


Double Gold: Ultra Value Wine Challenge 2020


Laborie Estate is a historic working farm in the foothills of Paarl Mountain, less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town. It is known equally for its fine Red wines as for its range of MCCs.

As much as I enjoy a Brut MCC,  a demi-sec is also a family favourite, so I/we were delighted to pop the cork on a bottle of Laborie Le Grand Nectar.

When did you last hear the word nectar being used? Welcome back nectar!

The cork popped (someone in the family shielding their face!) and two glasses poured. The colour of light straw, its nose was a gentle mix of sweet and tart and sipping it gave that same pleasure as secretly eating something naughty – albeit by way of its creaminess, and gentle sweetness that makes drinking it a total delight.

I seldom have the opportunity to visit Paarl, but Laborie is now on my wine bucket list.

MUSIC / WINE / FOOD at Muratie this Saturday 20 February 2021

Relax in a gorgeous garden setting under ancient oaks at Muratie this Saturday 20 February at 12pm for lunch and amazing background music by the super-talented Stander Gang.

Due to current Covid regulations this is not one of Muratie’s usual popular music events. It is a much needed #supportlocalartists initiative introduced by music-lover Rijk Melck. There is no entrance fee. You are invited to relax outdoors in the Farm Kitchen courtyard enjoying a delicious Muratie lunch and wine whilst soaking up the awesome sounds of The Stander Gang, and to please #supportlocalartists by adding a donation, for the band, to your Farm Kitchen bill. Please note all Covid regulations and precautions will be adhered to. For bookings, please contact Tanja on or call 021 865 2330

More about the band:
The Stander Gang is a Stellenbosch/Cape Town based band lead by vocalist & guitarist Rick Stander and the multi-instrumentalist Simon van der Linden. They have been playing together since they were in University in the 80’s. They are joined by bassist Schalk Joubert who has played with everyone from Crash Test Dummies to Hugh Masekela and David Kramer. Percussionist Vernon Swart who is known for his drumming with Valiant Swart completes the quartet. Expect some groovy and laid-back blues, rock and folk music along the lines of JJ Cale, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Muddy Waters.


Knorhoek Road, Stellenbosch · · 021 865 2330 ·

Dinner box at home, with Chef George Jardine

Indulge in a world-class 3-course meal, from the comfort of your home with a little help from the highly acclaimed Chef George Jardine from the Jordan Restaurant.

George has designed an exceptional 3-course menu for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.  One wine & dine box serves two people and will you leave you stuffed!  Made from locally sourced seasonal ingredients, these meals offer an enjoyable way to simply prepare restaurant quality food, sit back and relax.

The dinner box also includes a virtual online wine tasting with a Jordan Wine Estate wino!  This box will feature a bottle of Jordan Inspector Péringuey Chenin Blanc 2019 which was awarded 4.5 stars by Platter Wine Guide, awarded Double Gold by the NWC Challenge, and 90 points in the Prescient Winemag Chenin Blanc report.

While enjoying your bottle of Inspector Péringuey Chenin Blanc, get the taste buds flowing with wood fire baked rosemary and garlic focaccia with aioli and salsa Verde.

Then tuck into delicious grilled “first of the season” Wolseley Adam fig, Gorgonzola, Gorgonzola crumble and pumpkin seed pesto.

The mains are aimed to please with a generous portion of aged Chalmar sirloin Wellington, mushroom duxelles, and red wine jus.

And let’s not forget the sides, because every great meal needs sides:

Beef fat and thyme potato bake

Creamed chard with Parmesan

And end off perfectly with BlueJay farm nectarine pavlova with crème Chantilly.

This pre-prepared three-course dinner box will be delivered directly to your home and simply needs to be prepped and cooked in the oven, before serving.  Preparation instructions will be included in the box.

This is the menu for the 3rd March. The menu will change regularly!

Delivery areas include the Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Strand, Franschhoek, Paarl, Zevenwacht, Durbanville and the Cape Town City Bowl only.  The boxes will be delivered on Wednesday the 3rd March so please ensure someone is at home, during the day to accept delivery. 
Last date for orders is Monday 1st March by 10:30am.

Reserve your box here | Price is R800 per dinner box, serving 2 people and includes a bottle of Jordan Estate wine and a virtual tasting experience
For more information contact Louise Jardine on: / +27 (0)21 881 3612

Quoin Rock White Blend 2018……2021’s answer to the perfect food wine

The recently released Quoin Rock White Blend 2018 is South African’s answer to finding that perfect food wine. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc (92%) and Semillon (8%) also delivers on excellent ageing potential of up to 10 years.

Not only were the grapes harvested from the estate’s vineyards in Stellenbosch, but also from their Elim vineyards which is well-known as a cool climate region and perfectly suited to this wine. The wine was left to mature in a combination of stainless-steel tanks and French oak barrels for six months before bottling. Winemaker Schalk Opperman describes the wine as showcasing flinty, stone-fruit and fig-like aromas from the Sauvignon Blanc, which are complemented by the beautiful tangerine characters of the Semillon. Gooseberry and melon characters contribute to a full, rounded creaminess on the palate. This wine has a persistent body with wonderful length and elegance. 

True to Quoin Rock’s philosophy of not only being innovative, but also taking a sustainable approach to food, Gåte’s (pronounced gahtey) Head Chef Jack Coetzee recommends the White Blend with their game fish dish, which is often sourced from the ABALOBI* platform. This dish involves taking the fish off the bone and rolling it into a roulade. It is then poached and rolled in popcorn and dried seaweed, which provides texture. The fish is combined with corn and beetroot in its many variations, which ultimately brings the wine to life. The acidity tames the earthy flavours from the beetroot, which lift the beautiful stone fruit flavours of the wine. The wine’s characteristic gooseberry and melon flavours complement the game fish perfectly.

The wine also partners perfectly to other seafood as well as pasta dishes, or simply enjoy on its own. Available directly from the Tasting Room at R350 per bottle.

For more information visit

*The ABALOBI Marketplace connects small-scale local fishers with buyers looking for quality fresh fish. ABALOBI aims to empower small scale fishers by avoiding a buying monopoly and thus allowing them to sell at market-related prices.



The first Journey’s End wine I tasted was their splendid Bordeaux-blend, Cape Doctor. Two days after had tasted it, it was awarded 5* in the 2021 Platters Wine Guide. What a first impression!

It set a very high standard for what I expected from their other wines.

Luckily my second Journey’s End Wine proved to be a good ‘un too, it was their The Griffin Syrah 2016. If you know me well, by know you should now that a good syrah immediately send my tastebuds into Happy Land.

We like to enjoy an end of afternoon glass or two of wine, sitting on a bench in our garden, enjoying the birdsong and the tranquillity. What better setting to be introduced to The Griffin! The wine’s name is an unusual one, the Griffin is a mythical creature symbolising divine power.

Poured into our glasses and sniffed, we both smiled at its fruity nose and took our first sip. Its taste was rich and complex, smokiness, spice, and dark fruit. A classy wine with presence and personality.

Journey’s End their Cape Doctor and the Griffin Syrah are superb and the farm is spectacularly situated on Sir Lowry Road and with a view of False bay, more reason another reason to add it to my ‘to be visited’ list and to taste some more of their wines.

My Journey’s journey continues and I’m enjoying travelling First Class!