Situated in the Knorhoek Valley at the foot of the Simonsberg mountain, a mere 10km outside of Stellenbosch, you’ll find Muratie – a wine estate with a history and heritage that’s quite unusual.
The story of Muratie is essentially a love story. One that goes back many years – all the way back to 1685, when the then Governor of the Cape of Hood Hope, Simon Van der Stel, granted the undeveloped land to one Laurens Campher.
Laurens fell in love with a slave, Ansela van de Caab (meaning Ansela from the Cape). Due to her status, marriage was out of the question. But Laurens was steadfast – for fourteen long years he regularly tackled the 3-day walk to Cape Town to see the love of his life. When Ansela was eventually granted her freedom, Laurens whipped her off to Muratie where he’d built her a house – a long low structure consisting of one bedroom, a kitchen and one stable. This building still stands at Muratie.
It’s called MOK (an abbreviation of the Afrikaans words ‘modern kontemporêr’, meaning modern contemporary) and now it’s the venue for modern art exhibitions. Walking through it is strangely eerie, in a good way – one can almost hear the echoes of the past.