I squashed the final essentials into my suitcase; sun-cream, malaria tablets and a Rough Guide. I was off to Cape Town for a friend’s wedding!
With just over two weeks off work, as well as a beautiful wedding in Constantia, I wanted to see as much of South Africa as possible. Like most holidaymakers in South Africa high on my ‘to do’ list were the Cape Winelands.
I was excited and particularly intrigued to visit De Morgenzon, a wine estate in Stellenbosch. Majestic started stocking the De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc last year and it quickly became a firm favourite. This is De Morgenzon’s first wine – and its flagship wine. Fermented and aged in French oak the wine is rich, concentrated, oozing with tropical fruit and honey notes and backed with toasty oak and hints of vanilla. With fresh acidity, so many levels of flavour and a lingering finish, this wine is really something special!
But it’s not just the wine I love, it’s also the stories behind it! De Morgenzon means ‘the morning sun’ – because of its high altitude and aspects it is the first part of the Stellenboschkloof valley to see the sun. As well as receiving lots of sunshine the vineyard’s high altitude ensures natural high acidity in the grapes bringing beautiful freshness and vibrancy to the wines.
One of the most fascinating elements is that at De Morgenzon they play Baroque music to the vines and the wines 24 hours a day! There are speakers around the vineyard and in the cellar, softly playing the harmonious tunes of Bach, Mozart, Handel and the like. They believe that the music has a positive effect on plant growth, the grapes and the wines in the barrels. I had to see these speakers to believe…hence the photo!
Whilst at the winery I also tried the DMZ Chardonnay and the DMZ Syrah. Lighter bodied than the Chenin, the Chardonnay is fresh and zesty with citrus and apricot notes and a hint of oak. The Syrah is packed with dark berry fruit, spice and white pepper, it has a delicate floral character and very gentle oak notes.
For me there are good wines and great wines. Great wines are of course good wines, but every glass conjures up memories (ie a wonderful holiday and fantastic visit to De Morgenzon), stories (the morning sun, the music…) and a sense of place (Stellenbosch and the fabulous views from the top of the De Morgenzon estate). I hope you enjoy the De Morgenzon wines as much as me!