The History and the Family

Situated at the foothills of the Simonsberg, Muratie Wine Estate tells the story of winemaking in South Africa, a history almost as old as the country herself...

In 1685 a “certain piece of land” was allocated to a German soldier called Lourens Campher. The Governor at the Cape, William Adriaan van der Stel, instructed Campher to “beplant, bepoot & betimmer” the area. In his first year he planted one bag of wheat and harvested 8 bags. By harvesting the wheat he could pay his yearly tax.

The first house Campher built has survived till present day. If one stands in front of our cellar door and look towards the right, at 2 ‘o clock, the little white building was his house. Outside the house there is an old oak tree that was planted by Ansela and Lourens.

Whilst Campher was a soldier he met a slave girl who used to look after the “Compagnie Garden”. This girl’s name was Ansela. Her mother was captured in Angola and brought to the Cape as a slave. (Those days there were very few women at the Cape and they needed some!)

Ansela was born in the Castle –the child of a black Angolan girl and a soldier based at the Cape.

Ansela met Lourens Campher whilst she was tending to the gardens in and around the castle.

Campher moved out to the farmland given to him by Governor van der Stel. This piece of land was one of the first mountain farms at the time.

From 1685 –1699 Campher used to walk on foot to Cape Town to visit Ansela in the slave quarters. During this time Ansela had 3 children by him.

On the 28th of June 1699, after having been christened, Ansela was set free. Campher fetched her the following day and together they were the first family to farm what would later be known as Muratie.

Muratie Wine Estate