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Dear Friends

I have in my kitchen a tea towel which shows a picture of Morgenster as a calendar for the year 1976. 40 years ago, can you imagine? That was the year that I opened my first factory in South Africa after visiting the country for the first time in February 1975. So much has happened to me since then. The best was deciding to make my home here at Morgenster after I bought the farm in 1992.

Judi is always telling our friends that so much happens here on Morgenster because I am always busy inventing something. It is true. We are busy with some exciting things that I tell you about a little later in the year.

But first, I tell you about some exciting old things. At the end of November I had a visit from my friends Lord Irvine Laidlaw and his wife Lady Christine Laidlaw of Rothiemay, who arrived with their 10 vintage cars driven by their friends from the UK. They joined me for tea, a glass of my chilled Caruso and an olive oil tasting before continuing on their summer rally. You can see some of their lovely cars below, or see more of the rally by clicking here

It is is for me a matter of great concern and sadness that seven producers of olive oil in Italy have been found to be passing off lower quality virgin olive oil as extra virgin olive oil. Italy has always had the reputation for producing olive oil of the highest quality and the most expensive. In this situation thousands of honest olive oil producers in Italy are affected by the actions of these few producers because people are becoming confused and turning away from Italian olive oil.

At Morgenster we stand in solidarity with the best Italian oil producers. Our Morgenster oil is an Italian extra virgin olive oil produced outside of Italy from only Italian cultivars grown on my farm in South Africa. It is made using the best Italian cultivars, experience and equipment. Our oil is guaranteed by us and also it receives the highest accolades in the world.

Till next time,



In a few days’ time we start our 2016 harvest. The first grapes to come in will be Cabernet Franc for our sparkling wine, followed shortly by Sangiovese and Sauvignon Blanc for our NU (pronounced “new”) range. After these, the first red grapes arrive; either Nebbiolo or an early young vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot gets harvested towards the end of February with Petit Verdot by the end of March. We are happy with both the volume and the quality. Bunches are loose with small berries and we expect good tannins. Fermentation and emptying of tanks in the cellar will be over by the end of April; we will be keeping the wine on the skins for as long as possible. It’s going to be a busy few months …


Not too long after the start of the grape harvest, the olive harvest will follow. The two can overlap for as long as about six weeks, creating a very dynamic and energising time at Morgenster. It is a little like a beehive as the harvest teams move from block to block and the tractors come and go with the crates of grapes and olives. A sense of promise and excitement is always in the air and keeps us smiling.


Chef Andrew Rosser of Oppie Hoek, George, treats us to a luscious salad crafted from heritage tomatoes and lettuce varieties, completed by some treats from Morgenster.


Tel: +27.218521738
Fax: +27.218520835
Email: info@morgenster.co.za
Website: www.morgenster.co.za
 P.O. Box 1616, Somerset West, 7129, South Africa