When Schalk de Witt, newly immigrated to Canada from South Africa with his young family, first travelled through the green farm land and sparkling lakes of BC’s south Okanagan in 1990, he was amazed by the similarities to his hometown half a world away. He knew he’d found the place he wanted to call home. But life has a way of getting in the way, at least temporarily, of even the surest of intentions. Work and family commitments took him into the Kootenays and then on to Alberta. Sixteen years later, Schalk finally made his dream a reality when he and wife Lynn purchased 48 prime grape growing acres in Osoyoos in 2005.
Meanwhile, back home in South Africa, Schalk’s daughter Elzaan had reconnected with, fallen in love, and married a childhood friend named Bertus Albertyn. The tousled hair boy had grown into an accomplished winemaker who, by fate or good fortune, also dreamed of Canada.
In 2009, Elzaan and Bertus immigrated to British Columbia’s wine country. Together with her father and Lynn, the new immigrants purchased the acreage that is now home to the Maverick Estate Winery and all generations of the Maverick Estate Winery family.
The first vintage of Maverick Estate wine, produced in 2011, drew high praise from critics and customers alike. Today, Maverick Estate wines are gaining a strong following for their consistency, elegance, complexity and balance.