Morna Manor (Morne in German) was established in ca 1800, when it was separated from the neighbouring Õisu Manor. The manor belonged to the von Sievers family since its establishment until 1919 and its last owner was Karl von Sievers. Danish Ernst Ohlsen, who was von Sievers’ father-in-law and the chief gardener of Vagner’s garden business, planted young apple trees in the fields and clearings of Morna, drained a large piece of the bog and established a tree nursery, built a greenhouse and started growing roses. Business relations were established with places like Riga, St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Morna and its apple orchards were cut into plots for homesteaders.
World War I put a stop to the rising business. Von Sievers moved to Germany and only the old Ohlsens remained. After the period when ingenious businessmen from the capital used Morna’s garden to embezzle support from the state, the state gave the manor to the nearby Polli Manor for management in 1929.
Polli Farming and Garden Management School was established in 1935 and Morna’s garden was a part of it.
The school closed its doors for good in the spring of 1946. The research institute Polli Institute of Horticulture and Apiculture worked in Polli since 1945. In 1946 it became the Institute of Agriculture (later Plant Production) of the Academy of Sciences of the Estonian SSR, which also included Morna’s gardens where scientists tested new varieties of apples, pears, plums and cherries, and bred a number of fruit varieties: 26 apple, three pear, 19 plum, one sour and 16 sweet cherry varieties, four strawberry, six raspberry, one red currant, three white currant, 13 blackcurrant and one gooseberry variety have been developed in Polli.
The Gavronskis bought the former farm worker’s house of Morna Manor, which had also been used for drying apples, in 2010. About a decade earlier, the Mets family had restored the ruins of the nearby windmill and turned it into a home, dredged the reservoir and restored many hectares of apple orchards.
The large farm worker’s house is now a hospitable place for living and seminars, there is a wine cellar and the buildings of the new winery are also being built.
There are 4,000 vines in the vineyard plus 10,000 blackcurrant bushes and a hectare of cherry trees.
We make wine from blackcurrant, cherry, rhubarb, raspberry, cranberry and blueberry juice as well as from birch sap. We currently make 1,000 bottles per year, but the plan is to increase our capacity to 60,000 litres.