For Voytek and Alicja Fizyta, winning best of category with their 2015 Syrah at the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition was another step forward in their American dream.
Both left Poland as political refugees in 1981, fleeing Communist influences from the neighboring Soviet Union. They arrived in Detroit with $800, two suitcases and two children.
Voytek soon got a job as an engineer at Chrysler, and Alicja — who had a medical degree in Poland — cared for their children. In 1994, they moved to Montgomery County, where they raised their growing family. And, when all four kids had finished high school and Voytek and Alicja began to consider selling their home and moving to the country — an idea struck.
“How about starting a vineyard and winery?” Voytek recalled asking Alicja during a trip to a Virginia winery. “And, we really didn’t know what we were getting into.”