Cape Town: Winelands Tour - Muratie Vineyards.

"This is a very old vineyard, family owned," my guide informed me.

The second stop on our tour through the Winelands was Muratie, in the Stellenbosch area of the region.

The farm the vineyard sits on was established in the 1685. And when you walk into the building on the property, you can tell straight away that it's old as well.

Uneven floors. Cracked walls. And even...

SPIDER WEBS! Old spider webs!

"Those have been there since 1977," my guide said. She then pointed out a calendar on the wall next to the mummified webs.

"See?" she said. "The calendar shows the last time they cleaned the webs. They stopped updating the calendar. So the last time these webs were cleaned was in April of 1977."

"Wow!" I said. "That's the month and year I was born. How cool!"

For a very low cost, I began trying the wines right next to those spider webs.

  • Lady Alice Methode Cap Classique (A sparkling jewel of a wine!)
  • George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir 2011
  • Isabella Chardonnay 2012
  • Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
  • Ronnie Melck Shiraz 2011 

My favorite was the Ronnie Melck Shiraz. But the sparkling wine was great too. 

Though the vineyard is family-owned, I was curious about a woman I kept seeing in paintings on the walls and even on the bottle of the dessert wine...

"She's not part of the family, is she? Who would put a family member on their product dressed like that?" I asked. But you never know... Perhaps my prudish American sensibilities were jading me.

They confirmed that the woman was indeed not part of the family. She was the mistress of one of the owners in the earlier part of the 20th century. He had painted many portraits of her in private.

I loved that! Scandal!

What perfect wine tasting! Drinking wine and gossiping. A very well-spent part of the afternoon!