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5 Of The Best: Classic Wineries
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Wineries with old-school charm.

Muratie

In any other setting, cobwebs and spiders would have me reaching for Doom and a vacuum but at Muratie, the decor, complete with 8-legged inhabitants, is older than I am. The dust holds more memories than you or I and it makes for a very interesting and intriguing tasting experience.

Muratie can trace its history back to 1685 and was the first producer of Pinot Noir. The Melcks family now own it and have sought to keep its rich heritage alive.

If you're feeling peckish, the Farm Kitchen offers a rustic, country menu with classic South African items such as Waterblommetjie Bredie and Bobotie samoosas. There is also a guest cottage which was originally used as an art studio by renowned Stellenbosch painter and late farm owner George Paul Canitz.

Meerlust

No doubt you will have heard of the Meerlust Rubicon, a Bordeaux-style blend that continues to inspire - arguably it could be said that it's one of South Africa's most famous red blends. The entire Meerlust wine range is a force to be reckoned with - I am particularly fond of their Chardonnay.

The estate itself has been in the Myburgh family since 1756 and Hannes Myburgh is the current custodian. The cellar is Dutch in style and the tasting room, with its eclectic art, never tries to distract from the absolutely amazing wines that never cease to amaze each year.

Altygedacht

This year Altygedacht was one of the first wineries to sell a 2015 wine due to popular demand - and over the past two years, their visitors keep rising.

It's a humble estate and an equally humble tasting room with remnants of past lives visible on the walls and in the apparatus that lies around. You're more than likely get one-on-one tasting help and each wine has a story and way of getting under your skin. Their Pinot Noir is scrumptious and I'm all about that Bar, bout that Barbera (see what I did there.)

For families, the farm has an outdoor climbing set and swings and plenty of space for exhausting the little ones. The restaurant offers homely, comforting food and it's all very laid back and simple.

Vriesenhof

Jan Boland Coetzee. Who doesn't know this imposing figure from bygone days of SA rugby? It was in 1980 that Jan purchased this farm in the Paradsykloof valley and he's never looked back.

The tasting room, though small, has an unobstructed view over the Stellenbosch and the Paradyskloof Valley. Vineyards and oaks surround the property and you can completely understand why making wine in this area would supersede playing SA's favourite sport.

I think he makes amazing Pinot Noir but he probably wouldn't admit it - you'll struggle to find a more humble fellow.

Rietvallei

100 years of winemaking has been passed down through the generations and the reins now lie in the capable hands of Kobus Burger, 7th generation winemaker. The Rietvallei tasting room (previously a water tub) is snug, yet prolific in branding and visual appeal. Photos of past generations line the walls and you'll find a 100 year old barrel of Muscadel that you can taste from - it's quite magical.

The JMB range, made to honour Kobus' late father, includes the exceptional Cabernet Franc 2011; elegant, smooth and sporting a striking herbaceous character - it's a must-try.




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Tel: +27.218433587   Fax: +27.218433274   Email: shop@meerlust.co.za  
Meerlust Estate Baden Powell Drive P.O. Box 7121 , Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa