SOUTH AFRICA’S PIONEER OF PINOT NOIR,
AND ENJOY KIM MELCK’S SLOW-ROASTED PORK BELLY
August 18 is International Pinot Noir Day so raise a glass of Muratie George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir and drink a toast not only to this beautiful cultivar, but to Muratie Estate, South Africa’s first producer of Pinot Noir.
It is George Paul Canitz, after whom the Muratie Pinot Noir is named, whom we have to thank for the Cape’s first Pinot Noir. GP Canitz, famous artist, avid horseman, bon vivant and former owner of Muratie, together with prominent viticulturist, Professor Abraham Perold (who created Pinotage), planted the first Pinot Noir grapes, at Muratie, in 1927, and produced the first ‘Burgundy’ in Stellenbosch. “Muratie Burgundy is bottled sunshine; it gladdens the heart and loosens the tongue!” Such were the words of the charismatic Canitz who had a fine palate for Pinot.
After George Paul Canitz’s death, his beloved daughter, the fiercely independent, intrepid Alberta Annemarie (after whom the Muratie Merlot is named), farmed Muratie on her own until at the advanced age of 87, having no descendants, she sold the farm to Ronnie Melck in 1987. One of the first female wine farm owners in the country, she fiercely protected Muratie’s legacy, keeping the farm unchanged, a tradition that has been preserved by the Melck family.
George Canitz’s Pinot Noir legacy at Muratie was continued by the late Ronnie Melck – one of the great characters of the South African wine industry, with a legendary palate, a passion for wine, a real joy for life and a wonderful sense of humour, always liked to say, “Pinot Noir is, quite simply, the world’s best party wine”, and he would surely know.
With the release of the 2009 vintage of Muratie’s Pinot Noir, Rijk Melck, son of Ronnie and current custodian of Muratie, paid tribute to South Africa’s father of Pinot Noir, George Paul Canitz, by renaming the Muratie Pinot Noir in his honour. At Muratie every wine tells a story. Passionate guardians of Muratie’s prized heritage as one of the oldest farms in South Africa, the family is committed to preserving the essence of a bygone era – upholding the age-old traditions of the farm, safeguarding the historic buildings, relics and memoirs, and acknowledging all those who came before. All the Muratie wines have been named after these remarkable characters, each wine with its own enchanting story described on the back label.
One of the most-loved red wines, Pinot Noir is one of the oldest grape varieties in the world – native Pinot Noir vines were available in Burgundy (the birthplace of Pinot Noir) even before the Roman invasions during the first century AD. Made well, Pinot Noir is one of the most captivating and complex of wines, with grip, complexity and intense, pure fruit. Typically, lighter in colour and tannins with fresh acidity, Pinots are loaded with red fruits such as raspberries and cherries, often developing savoury notes of wild mushroom, cured meats and forest floor as they age. A Pinot Noir is also the ultimate food-loving, and versatile wine, known to make a perfect pairing with a multitude of dishes.
Muratie George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir 2018
Tasting notes: A heady combination of strawberries, cherries, plums and aniseed greets you on the nose, all underpinned by hints of truffle, exotic mushrooms and spice. A smooth, velvety entry opens into an elegant mouthful of fruits – preserved raspberries and cherries – surrounded by oak-induced spice flavours of cinnamon and sandalwood. A fresh lively acidity provides balance to the supple and juicy tannins and the finish is lengthy, changing from fruit through to satisfying truffles and earthiness.
Suggested food pairing: A rich and warming wine, it is best enjoyed with game or a robust mushroom risotto. A classic pairing is duck confit, also ideal with roast chicken, salmon (roasted, seared or grilled) and Brie, Camembert, Gruyère, and goat cheese. And absolutely delicious with slow-roasted pork belly.
Kim Melck’s Slow-Roasted Pork Belly Recipe
Kim Melck has provided her personal recipe for Slow-Roasted Pork Belly with Crisp Crackling for a perfect home-cooked Sunday lunch – which will pair perfectly with the Muratie George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir. Slow-Roasted Pork Belly is always a permanent favourite on Muratie’s Farm Kitchen menu, with the accompaniments changing regularly according to the season. SEE KIM’S PORK BELLY RECIPE HERE.
Purchase: Muratie George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir 2018 is available at the estate, online at https://www.muratie.co.za/wine/buy-wine/ and at select fine wine merchants around the country.
Approximate retail price: R370
George Paul Canitz, The Man
In 1926, while out horse-riding with his daughter, Annemie, German artist, George Paul Canitz, happened upon an old, neglected manor house (Muratie), fell in love with the charm of the place and bought, renovated and replanted the old farm. Famous for his art, art lovers from all over the world visited Muratie to buy his paintings, but his greatest fame came from being the first ever Pinot Noir producer in the country and his fine palate for Pinot. Most of the art in the Muratie cellar was painted by George Canitz. His art studio, which he built with bricks made on the farm, still stands today, on a terrace next to the tasting centre, and his ‘Kneipzimmer’ (drinking den) at Muratie bears testament to the merry parties that took place regularly in this enchanting drinking den. It was here that Canitz’s many guests were invited to share his favourite Muratie wines and cover the roof and walls with paintings and writings.
Visit Muratie Wine Estate For An Unparalleled Cape Winelands Experience
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.
The story of Muratie Wine Estate, layered in rich South African wine history, is reason enough to pay a visit to this historic farm, but it’s the abundance of activities to be enjoyed there that keeps visitors returning for wine tasting and chocolate pairing in the charming cob-webbed tasting room, home-style breakfasts and lunches at The Farm Kitchen, amazing trails for mountain biking, trail running and hiking, accommodation in George Paul Canitz’s original art studio, contemporary art at the MOK Gallery and exquisite event curation in a splendid marquee with breath-taking views and in the gorgeous gardens and terraces framed by ancient oaks.
SIP ON MURATIE WINES AND TASTE HISTORY FOR YOURSELF