“Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life's most civilized pleasures”.
These are the words of the late Michael Broadbent MW, legendary wine critic, writer, author and auctioneer - a towering figure in the international world of wine.
However, these could so easily be the words of Annatjie Melck, foodie legend and chatelaine of Muratie, where the culture of food and wine is an intrinsic ingredient of the Melck family’s history, and life at Muratie today.
When Ronnie Melck, charismatic wine industry legend with a boundless passion for life bought Muratie in 1987, fulfilling a lifetime dream of returning the historic estate to the Melck family, he and Annatjie moved into the Muratie Manor House. “There had been so many interesting characters shaping Muratie’s past, but now it was our turn”, reminisces Annatjie. “We infused new life into the old homestead, establishing our very own culture of food and wine. There was hardly ever an empty seat at our enormous dining room table. There would be music, the wine would flow, the kitchen would be a hive of activity, and the aroma of food would infuse the atmosphere of our Muratie home. Wonderful stories were told, and friends from all over the world were made.”
Since Ronnie’s untimely passing in September 1995, Annatjie has continued to live in the Manor House and express her love of food in so many different ways. Determined to uphold the food and wine culture of Stellenbosch and the Winelands, she, together with like-minded friends, founded the Fynproewersgilde, the famous Stellenbosch Wine and Food Festival, and the iconic landmark, Oom Samie se Winkel, in Dorp Street. She also authored the highly acclaimed ‘Koljander’ where she showcases over 100 recipes interwoven with her life’s journey from the plains of the Great Karoo to Muratie.
Today, Annatjie continues to work closely with her daughter-in-law Kim, also an accomplished foodie, overseeing the preparation of Muratie’s range of preserves and homemade treats available in the tasting room, and the authentic farm lunch at Muratie’s popular Farm Kitchen Restaurant. Kim describes the Farm Kitchen as an embodiment of the Melck’s food and wine culture, anextension of their home. “I have my apron on and Rijk pours the wine. We do it all and we hope for our guests that it is like being hosted in someone’s home, with warmth and friendliness.”
ANNATJIE’S RECIPES AND WINE PAIRINGS
It comes as no surprise that Annatjie has developed a treasure trove of her own very special recipes and loves to explore the very best pairings with Muratie’s wines, all of which are named after intriguing personalities intertwined with the story of the historic estate.
ANNATJIE’S SALMON WITH TARRAGON AND CREAM SAUCE - TO ENJOY WITH THE MURATIE ISABELLA CHARDONNAY 2019
Baked in the oven, pan-fried, grilled or smoked - no matter how it isprepared, salmon is always delicious. There’s only one thing that can take the best salmon dishes to the next level: a glass of wine! And Annatjie recommends enjoying her Salmon with Tarragon & Cream Sauce with a glass of Muratie Isabella Chardonnay 2019, named in honour of her granddaughter Isabella. It is a full-bodied subtly oaked Chardonnay - with vibrant citrus notes, a smooth and rich texture, a creaminess and fresh acidity - that perfectly complements the richness of this salmon dish.
2 Salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp (15ml) sunflower oil
½ Small onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp (30ml) fresh tarragon, finely chopped
4 Tbsp (90ml) thick cream
2 Tbsp (30ml) fresh parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 160˚C
Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a heavy-duty pan until hot and cook the salmon (skin side up) for 3 minutes until light brown, then turn it over and cook on the skin side for 2 minutes
Place the salmon in an oven safe dish and sprinkle the onion and the tarragon over the fish
Add the cream to the dish and bake for 10-12 minutes until the salmon is cooked
Sprinkle parsley over the dish and serve with boiled baby potatoes
Enjoy with the Muratie Isabella Chardonnay 2019
ANNATJIE’S MARROW BONES ON TOAST - TO COMPLEMENT THE MURATIE MR MAY GRENACHE NOIR 2018 (A NEW MURATIE RELEASE)
Grenache, the dominant grape in the famous red blends of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Southern Rhône, is one of the most versatile wines to pair with food due to its spiciness, pure red fruits and fresh attributes. Annatjie has chosen the Muratie Mr May Grenache 2018 – with its bold strawberry and raspberry notes and hints of white pepper and oak – to complement her much-lovedMarrow Bones on Toast recipe. Muratie Mr May Grenache 2018 pays tribute to Cornelius, or Mr May as he was affectionately called, who planted and pruned many a vine at Muratie. His attention to detail and ability to predict the weather, long before technology, is legendary.
You need the middle sections of the long bones (ask your butcher for 5cm lengths)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 230˚C
Rinse the marrow bones thoroughly under cold water
Dry thoroughly with kitchen paper towel
Cover an oven pan with foil and place marrow bones on top
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the bones and bake for 15-20 minutes
Marrow bones are cooked when the marrow starts pulling away from the bone and the clear fat starts to drip from the bone
Remove pan from the oven and let it cool down slightly
Use a knife to remove the marrow from the bones and spread is on toast
Add a little salt according to your liking and serve immediately
Enjoy with Muratie’s Mr May Grenache Noir