Niels Verburg and his wife Penny are unabashed luddites who apply a technology-resistant philosophy to their methods, ‘farming conscientiously with minimum mechanization’ and aiming to make a wine that’s ‘as natural as possible, with little or no intervention’. ‘It’s about knowing that when you buy a bottle of Luddite, what’s inside is genuine and made with integrity,’ says Niels.
Niels met Penny at Elsenburg, the Cape Institute for Agricultural Training, where he was making his first bottle of Shiraz and she was studying animal husbandry. They have been together ever since, traveling from France to New Zealand as Niels honed his wine making skills and raising three children: Daisy, Alice and Kim.
Niels and Penny are now living their dream of making wine on their own family-run farm: Luddite. While Niels fine-tunes his Shiraz, Penny takes care of the vineyards (and the vegetable patch), bottles her own olive oil and rears happy pigs for bacon, pork sausage and chourizo.