DE MORGENZON “THE MORNING SUN”
DeMorgenzon, ‘the morning sun,’ was so named as it is the first part of the Stellenboschkloof valley to see the sun because of its high altitude and aspects. We cover the top southern and eastern slopes of Ribbokkop, overlooking the pinnacle of Kanonkop from where a cannon was fired to alert the farms in the region that a ship had put into Table Bay. The first road from Cape Town to Stellenbosch ran through the Stellenbosch Kloof.
The Cape of Good Hope had been established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652 as a refueling station for their fleet, which needed to be supplied for the long journey east to Batavia (today Indonesia) or home to The Netherlands. Without stocking up on delicious South African fruit, vegetables and low fat meat, the sailors would have all succumbed to scurvy before reaching the end of their long journeys. These were, after all, the days of sail and we’re talking of months at sea.
The Dutch Governor, Simon van der Stel, founded Stellenbosch in 1679. DeMorgenzon was originally a section of Uiterwyk, one of the oldest farms in South Africa. In 1682 Uiterwyk, the ‘outer ward,’ was let to Dirk Cauchet, Coetzee, Coetze, Kotzee, Coetchee or Koetchee, for he appears under each variation in the records (this is evidence that the Department of Home Affairs hasn’t improved over the years). It was finally granted to him by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel in 1699.
In 2003 Wendy and Hylton Appelbaum bought DeMorgenzon and have since transformed DeMorgenzon into a 224 acre garden vineyard, where abundant wildflowers grow between the vines.