All wine estates in the Western Cape area of South Africa are beautiful, but DeMorgenzon, which dates back to 1679, in Stellenbosch is extraordinary. The 91 hectare estate is owned by Wendy and Hylton Appelbaum, internationally recognized leaders in business and philanthropy.
DeMorgenzon, “the morning sun,” is the first part of the Stellenboschkloof valley to see the sun because of its high altitude and aspects. The Applebaums refer to their estate as the “garden vineyards.” In spring, specially chosen wildflowers grow between the vines in the belief that a biodiverse and ecologically sensitive environment produces infinitely better grapes, and that the essence of the gardens is captured in every bottle of wine.
Prior to planting the vines, a detailed analysis of the topography, climate, soils, and drainage, was used to situate each plot according to variety. Ten percent of the property is being restored to its original natural state. In an otherwise hot climate, DeMorgenzon’s vineyards are south-facing and remain relatively cool. Slopes rise from about 200m to nearly 400m above sea level providing vistas of Cape Town, mountains, and the ocean.
All aspects of viticulture and viniculture under winemaker Alastair Rimmer are performed in an ethically and environmentally responsible manner. Excess water is directed to an evaporation dam, which provides a natural habitat for bird, plant, and aquatic life.