Luddite Wine

Luddite Wine

Niels and Penny Verburg are unabashed luddites who produce a very special Shiraz near the tiny town of Bot River just over an hours drive from Cape Town. The Verburgs aim to farm in a way that’s as natural as possible, practicing a philosophy of little or no intervention, so it follows that theirs is a dry-land approach. Because the vines aren’t irrigated, Luddite’s harvest is smaller, more concentrated and results in a Shiraz that’s an acute expression of each year.

Every bottle of Luddite Shiraz is numbered by hand and as the label reads: Luddism reflects our belief in winemaking where we choose to practise our craft conscientiously and thereby retain our individuality. Technology and mechanization will never be a substitute for passion. Or as Niels says, ‘It’s about knowing that when you buy a bottle of Luddite, what’s inside is genuine and made with integrity.’

The vineyards lie on the cool South-Eastern slopes of the Houw Hoek Mountains, 30km from the Atlantic Ocean, and fall within the Walker Bay Wine Ward. Six hectares of the 17 hectare property is under vine, planted with Shiraz grapes, and in 2011 Penny planted Luddite’s first block of Chenin. There are also Frantioa, Mission and Leccino olive trees and a herd of happy pigs roaming the farm.

While Niels fine-tunes his Shiraz Penny tends her vegetable patch, presses olive oil and turns Luddite’s happy pork into sausages and charcuterie – they both dream of one day being completely self-sufficient. Niels likes to give a personal tasting to anyone who makes a trip Luddite, so call ahead to make sure he’s home before paying a visit.


Contact details :

PO Box 656
Bot River
Western Cape
South Africa

Tel : +27 (0) 28 284 9308
Fax : +27 (0) 28 284 9045

Email :
Website :

Michael NefdtComment