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
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.
“HERE IS MY RECIPE FOR THE MOST DELICIOUS PORK BELLY.
Take a nice thick pork belly and have it scored in squares or thin strips – this will make the carving easier when cooked.
Pre-heat the oven 180˚ C.
Using medium coarse salt and white pepper, season on both sides – be generous with the salt.
Place half a cup of water in the roasting pan, this prevents the belly getting stuck to the pan and burning.
Place in the middle of the oven and roast for about 2 to 3 hours depending on the size and thickness of you piece of meat.
The top should be beautifully brown and the crackling fit for a king.
I like to serve it with a butternut puree and seasonal vegetables.
And of course, a glass of MURATIE GEORGE PAUL CANITZ PINOT NOIR.”
BUTTERNUT PUREE RECIPE
- Butternut – 1.13kg
- Carrots – 145g
- Chicken stock – 1 cube
- Paprika – 10g
- Cream – 30ml
- Black pepper – 5g
- Salt – 5g
- Water – 500ml
- Peel butternut and carrots, cube the butternut and dice the carrots.
- Add water, chicken stock cube, butternut and carrots to a pot. Boil until soft.
- Stir in dry ingredients.
- Let rest until room temperature then add the cream.
- Puree in a food processor (hand wand) until smooth – it should have a lovely vibrant colour.
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