Morgenster Olive & Wine Estate– an olive, some oil and a glass of wine…or three…


Driving up through the 300 year old estate, it was quickly apparent that we have discovered yet another gem. When I was first challenged to do an Olive Oil tasting, I must admit ,I wasn’t sure how much there would be to say about Olive Oil except that it was a healthier option…than Sunflower oil.


Once again I was in for a surprise, Tasting Room Manager Wendy and her very helpful and accommodative staff, taught us everything we need to know about the humble olive.


I asked the question, what came first, the olives or the wines…The answer…the Olives. When Giulio Bertrand bought Morgenster in 1992, he fell in love with the estate and set up a long-term partnership with the Olive Oil Research Institute of Italy. He imports the world’s most up to date olive tree cultivars and production technology from Italy.   As we all know the best Olive and Olive Oils comes from Italy, so how could he go wrong.


They currently have five oils on offer and we were fortunate to try all 5 in our tasting, but first we had to learn how to do an Olive Oil Tasting

The steps are:

1st – Carefully take your pre-poured glasses of oil, seal it with one hand.

2nd –Cup the glass between your hands and keep it sealed, thus warming it up.

3rd – Bring the glass up to your nose and carefully lift your hand/seal and smell.

4th – Take a big enough mouthful to coat your mouth and tongue.

5th – To get the most of the tasting, suck some air as this will allow you to differentiate between the individual components of the oil.


Olive Oil Tasting:

Monte Marcello – named after a property owned by Giulio Bertrand, using only Ligurian cultivars.

Oil maker comments by Gerrie Duvenage

NOSE : The first whiff is of fresh very ripe olives. By warming the oil slightly with your hand the secondary aromas of sweet ripe apples and toasted almonds will become more evident.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This is delicate oil; perfect to combine with delicately flavoured ingredients; think butter lettuce as opposed to rocket, ice-cream made with this olive oil will produce spectacular results, drizzle over your favourite fish, preferably grilled and delicately spiced, trickle generously over freshly picked, warm, ripe tomatoes and of course perfect with your favourite Italian crusty bread.


Morgenster Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Their award-winning Olive Oil is a Blend of various Italian cultivars.

Oil maker comments by Gerrie Duvenage

NOSE : The first whiff smells like freshly cut grass. By warming the oil slightly with your hand the secondary aromas of green tomatoes, almonds, artichokes and perhaps evergreen apples will become far more evident.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Morgenster’s Extra Virgin Olive oil makes a fabulous salad dressing just

On its own. Use it to drizzle over toasted Bruschetta, your favourite Italian bread or on your morning toast instead of butter. Drizzle on grilled fish, roast vegetables or stir fries. It makes excellent mayonnaise.


Don Carlo Olive Oil – produces an oil very different as opposed to the oil coming from traditional varieties. With vibrant tomato and tomato leaf aromas and flavours. It is extracted from a new international olive cultivar, recently established for the first time in South Africa at the Morgenster Estate.

Oil maker comments by Gerrie Duvenage

NOSE : The first whiff is of freshly cut grass and olives. By warming the oil slightly with your hand the secondary aromas of medium to high fruity notes of olive and tomato leaf will become more evident.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This is an intense oil and is perfect to combine with dishes with bold flavours and unflinching ingredients; think of hearty winter soups especially those with beans as a base; drizzle them lavishly with the oil and serve with crusty bread. Use on any dish or ingredient that you would normally enhance with the addition of pepper.


Next, they added some more goodness to their award-winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil and made these 2 delicious oils.

Lemon Enhanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Inspired by owner, Giulio Bertrand, is infused with an extract from lemon skin. Simply delicious.

Oil maker comments by Gerrie Duvenage

NOSE :The first layer of aromas from this oil is unmistakably citrus and lemon. Once warmed slightly the green grass aromas so typical of Morgenster’s extra Virgin Olive oil, break through the lemon bouquet leaving you with a refreshing combination of the two dimensions.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Is very versatile. Use it to marinade beef and lamb, drizzle it over fish as it comes off the braai or out of the oven, roast and stir-fried vegetables are spectacular when enhanced with this Lemon oil, great on baked potatoes or simply pour it over green salad leaves.

Morgenster White Truffle Olive Oil – The truffle is a cross between the potato and mushroom, and is only able to grow in specific climate and can only be imported-part of the reason why they so sought-after. Our favourite accompaniment to the humble oven baked chip 😉

Oil maker comments by Gerrie Duvenage

NOSE : An intense earthy nose with overtones of mushroom. At first the aroma is often associated with garlic.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Baked and mashed potatoes will never be the same once you have tried it with Morgenster White Truffle Enhanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Drizzle onto your scrambled egg, tuna or chicken mayonnaise to create a whole new taste dimension. Try it on bruschetta with your favourite cold meats or cheese. For the ultimate in decadence, try it on a wild mushroom risotto.

Balsamic vinegar – Typically made from Trebbiano grapes. Balsamic is aged for three years in wooden casks where it intensifies, sweetens and takes on the characteristics of the particular wood used.

TIPS : Heating Balsamic will intensify the sweetness and reduce the acidity A teaspoon of Balsamic vinegar will wake up the flavour of any bland soup, stew or sauce.A dash of Balsamic vinegar on freshly sliced fruit (especially strawberries) with or without a sprinkling of sugar will enhance the flavours and have you craving for more.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Balsamic vinegar can be used in Salad dressings, marinades and sauces. It has become extremely fashionable to mix it with Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a dipping sauce; especially good with Italian breads.


Once Wendy had us all mastered in the art of tasting and nosing oils, we were left to “play and enjoy’.

We had selection of goodies to play with:


Kalamata olives, a Greek variety regarded as the best table olive in the world.


Nocellara del Belice olives; a Sicilian variety well-known for its crisp texture and creamy, nutty taste.


Morgenster’s Black Olive Paste has a higher oil content than its Green counterpart, caused by the riper olives. Use a teaspoon full to enhance your favourite salad dressing.

Morgenster’s Green Olive Paste is unmistakably olive and yet often enjoyed by people who don’t eat olives. Stir into steaming hot pasta for a quick meal.

And of course with some crackers and rustic ciabatta breads, what more could we ask for.

We really enjoyed the combination of Balsamic Vinegar, Lemon Enhanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the White Truffle Oil – best combo by far.

The tastings Morgenster currently has on offer are:

  • 1 glass of White Wine                                                      – R 30.00
  • 1 glass of Red Wine                                                         – R 45.00
  • Platter Olives / Paste / Crackers & Bread                        – R 35.00
  • Olive Oil Tasting per person                                             – R 35.00
  • Wine Tasting per person                                                  – R 45.00
  • Tour Group Special per person                                        – R 65.00 Includes 3 wines & full olive oil tasting


We the proceeded to the Wine Tasting, Morgenster currently have 5 labels namely.

Morgenster Reserve 
Morgenster Red Bordeaux blend is the Estate’s flagship
Morgenster White 
Morgenster White is made in the classic Bordeaux style
Morgenster Lourens River Valley 
Morgenster Lourens River Valley red Bordeaux blend
Italian Collection 
The Morgenster Italian Collection wines – Morgenster Caruso, Morgenster Nabucco and Morgenster Tosca
Nu Series 1 
Morgenster NU Series 1 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon single varietals



The Nu Series Sauvignon Blanc is an everyday wine made to suit a wide range of tastes. Specifically produced as they saw there was a need for a white to add to their Range. There were definite tropical notes and paw paws were strongly prevalent. Should be good with Summer Salads and Chicken dishes.



We then got to choose from the Louren’s River Valley Range. All made in the classic Bordeaux style and blended to perfection. Having spent 14 months in 2nd and 3rd full French Oak Barrels, meaning it’s the 2nd or 3rd time the barrels have been used. Currently the available range for tasting is 2001-2006, all distinctly different due to each blended composition. Try them all and find your favourite…



Lastly we got to sample the Estate’s Flagship Range, the Morgenster Reserve, Also made in the Bordeaux style this range is oaked in brand new French Oak for 18 months and can be matured for 15-20 years if stored correctly. A delectable range indeed.


All in all, the entire experience at Morgenster was simply amazing, learning so many new things about Olives and Oils and the Wines. Wendy and her amazing staff in the Tasting Room, are not only knowledgeable, but passionate and so helpful and accommodative, you’ll never want to leave ;).


Be sure to check out their FACEBOOK page and WEBSITE, as a birdie whispered they would be opening their restaurant next week, can’t wait to taste all those Italian inspired dishes.


They also have an Annual Olive Festival in early May, with farm tours, tasting and lots more, be sure to watch this space for more info.


For more Pics of our time at Morgenster Estate, please click the link below.





Jason & René Petersen


(Jason + Ashanti + René = JAR)

y E-mail:

Mobile Phone: +27 72 939 2099

7 Fax to email: +27 86 563 5141


2 thoughts on “Morgenster Olive & Wine Estate– an olive, some oil and a glass of wine…or three…

  1. I was part of a group of 6 that attended the tasting on Saturday. I left with so much information about olives and olive oil. The wines are excellent. The settings and scenery just made the afternoon even more awesome. Prices of olive oils very reasonable. Will visit again!!

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