Niels and Penny met at a friend’s 21st birthday party in 1985, where they discovered that they were both going to be attending Elsenburg Agricultural College in the new year. They became close friends at college, and romance blossomed late one night cramming for exams. He passed, she failed, but they’re still together. On finishing their studies, a desire to make wine but with no access to vineyards (these were the dark days in South Africa), Penny and Niels left the country in 1989.
1995 saw the Verburg family return to South Africa from Europe. Niels had worked as a flying winemaker in France, Chili, New Zealand and Australia, and even managed to make wine in Greece. A longing to work on a small farm led them to Bot River. After 8 vintages at Beaumont, they moved up the hill to a 16 hectare patch of land.
Thirty years later, with three kids and six dogs, the Verburgs are happy on their hill, and Luddite wines has evolved into an established and respected brand.