In 2005, as David Wilson and Chris Alheit were learning their craft, they met while working a harvest together at Flagstone in Somerset West in South Africa, and a deep and meaningful friendship was formed. The very next year, Chris and his now wife, Suzaan, traveled to Napa to work a harvest alongside David. The two young men talked about one day making a wine together.
David grew up on the family ranch, Rancho Chimiles, where he resides now with his wife, Christine, and their two children. David studied fruit science with an emphasis on wine and viticulture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is currently the Director of Vineyards and Grower Relations at Pahlmeyer. Christine grew up in the Sierra Foothills town of Murphys and graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with a degree in law studies. She later transitioned from law into the wine industry to focus on consumer direct sales and marketing.
Chris and Suzaan studied winemaking at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape, South Africa. They worked harvests together in Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Germany, Australia, and gained years of experience in their native South Africa before Alheit Vineyards was founded in 2011. They produce wines from throughout the Western Cape where they reside now with their three children.
The two couples worked to gain experience at some of the most prestigious vineyards and winery estates in the world. Then, on the ten-year anniversary of that harvest in South Africa, Chris picked up the phone to tell David it was time for the foursome to create a label together, and Wilson Foreigner was born.