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Maverick Estate Winery

Image provided by Maverick Estate Winery

Maverick Estate Winery is located just south of the Golden Mile, which happens to be part of BC’s spectacular desert wine country.

Maverick’s tasting room is situated on the west side of Highway 97, halfway between Oliver and Osoyoos, which is about a 10-minute drive from either city center.

This winery has a unique South African feel to the logo and architecture of the tasting room.

The original founders worked closely with the architect to integrate their home culture of South Africa into the building, reflected in the open beams, standing seam metal roof and stucco exterior.

This look is reminiscent of the traditional Cape-style houses in South Africa.

When I first walked into the tasting room, I was impressed with the comfortable ambiance resembling a charming home.

There is a dining room to the left, with a long table for larger groups, and to the right, are large glass windows which provides guests the opportunity to marvel at the continuous rows of vines and mountains in the distance.

Image provided by Maverick Estate Winery

The term “Maverick” is defined as an individual who does not hesitate to establish their own path as they are independent-minded. The name speaks of the goal of originality and uniqueness as the winery’s core philosophy regarding winemaking and grape growing.

Maverick’s logo is inspired by ancient pictographs drawn on cave walls around South Africa and cave drawings found throughout the Okanagan Valley.

The founding families purchased the acreage in 2008 and transitioned from an organic tree fruit farm to a vineyard that is home to Maverick Estate Winery.

The first vintage of Maverick wine, produced in 2011, was released with 380 cases of wine and received excellent reviews from both wine critics and customers.

In July 2014, the winery building was completed with a private tasting room, tasting bar, and outdoor patio.

Fast-forward to April 2020, the Albertyn and de Witt families sold the winery and vineyard to Ontario born winemaker Andrew Windsor, and Jan Nelson, who was born and raised on a tree fruit farm outside of Oliver, BC.

During the same year, production increased to 6200 cases of wine.

Andrew and Jan worked together at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, located just a few kilometers north of Maverick. The two of them also partnered with Bob and Barb Shaunessy, who are one of the founding families of Tinhorn Creek Winery.

Image provided by Maverick Estate Winery

Andrew earned a Masters of Oenology at the University of Adelaide in Australia in 2006 and then took on an Assistant Winemaking role at Mollydooker Wines in McLaren Vale. He brings with him a wealth of experience having worked in wineries in the Okanagan, Marlborough in New Zealand, and the Northern Rhone in France.

Jan left the Okanagan Valley in 1992 to begin over two decades of travel that took him to university in Montreal, a business school in Italy to gain his MBA, a brief stint in Korea and over 17 years in Japan before returning to the area in 2015.

In 2002, Jan joined a start-up, importing wines from Washington State and Oregon to Japan, and has since led export programs for Washington and Napa Valley in Japan, and imported Italian food and wine to Japan.

During my visit, I learned how Maverick leverages both nature and science to nurture the health of the soil in the vineyard, and they are consistently working to support the soil’s ability to produce great vines.

Current projects include improving the microbial activity, increasing the soil’s water holding capacity, and moving away from the use of conventional chemicals.

The philosophy at Maverick is to instill a sense of place in the wines and produce wines that are consistent with their environment and reflective of their vineyard.

This winery has strategically planted varietals amongst their Estate Vineyard, and three other lease properties just north of Osoyoos to produce the best quality wine possible.

The top terraces of the Estate Vineyard are planted to Syrah as bush vines, an homage to traditional grape growing in southern France.

A fun-fact about their 2019 Bush Vine Syrah is that it went head-to-head against all the Syrahs in Canada, and it was the only one selected for the Platinum Award at the 2021 Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada.

Maverick’s wine portfolio offers something for all wine palates: traditional method sparkling, fresh aromatic whites, complex reds, and a fortified wine.

The Rubeus red blend is a very versatile wine, you can have it with just about anything or enjoy it on its own. Perfect to share with friends and family style foods.

In my opinion, Maverick wines are building a reputation for their consistency, elegance, and complexity. Their simple, patient approach creates wines of beauty and detail. Rich, complex reds and flavourful, elegant whites.

If you plan on visiting in the future, I’d recommend tasting their Bush Vine Syrah, Rubeus, and Sauvignon Blanc. All three of these wines are fantastic.

This is a small winery with a big heart for making top-quality wine!

Image provided by Maverick Estate Winery


Javen - Poured By Jay

Hi, I'm Poured by Jay.

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