Cape Town - One of the oldest farms in the country came perilously close to being destroyed as wildfire – suspected to be the work of arsonists – raged in Stellenbosch. Walls of flame nearly engulfed the vineyards of Muratie Wine Estate, one of the oldest privately-owned wine farms in the country.
Gretha Melck, whose family owns the wine estate, stood in between vineyards and watched in horror as flames neared.
“It’s so traumatic. The farm’s been in the family for quite a while.”
The farm was established in 1685 and has been owned by the Melck family since the 1980s.
She pointed towards trees on the burning slopes above the vineyards and said: “This bush was developed into an incredible mountain bike route and now it’s just burning away. It’s worth millions.”