Painted Wolf was created by Emma and Jeremy Borg, who started their vinous adventure together back in 2005.
Although Jeremy had over 20 years' experience in wineries throughout South Africa, the UK, and the USA, and Emma had experience as a wine photographer, it was in 2005 that they were first approached to make their own wine. A friend's winery had an excess of grapes, and Emma and Jeremy couldn't resist getting involved.
They had to bottle and cork the wine by hand, but this only fuelled their passion, and they began looking for inspiration for their own wine brand. Painted Wolf came about when Jeremy read about the endangered African wild dog (highly social and organised animals, and persistent and effective hunters). Emma and Jeremy shared the painted wolf's appetite and keen hunting skills, although in their case this was for grapes to make their growing range of wines. The painted wolf takes pride of place on their labels, and such is their love for the species, and their dedication to wildlife preservation, that a percentage of profit made on every bottle is donated to conservation charities to help protect it.
Over the years this husband-and-wife team compiled a list of growers and winemakers they could trust, and these became the Painted Wolf ‘pack’. The vineyards chosen by the couple are low-yielding and usually non-irrigated. Their three main vineyards are Kasteelsig in Swartland, Southern Cross in Paarl, and Devon Hills in Stellenbosch. The vineyards vary between shale and granite soils, with a variety of grapes being grown (including shiraz, pinotage, merlot, grenache, viognier, mourvèdre, chenin blanc, and sauvignon blanc), but all are farmed with natural viticulture in mind.
Emma and Jeremy alternate their production from cellar to cellar year on year, benefiting from the collective experience of a wide range of winemakers. The grapes are often hand picked for extra quality control, and some of the wines are aged in oak for added complexity.
Grower profile: updated 22/10/2013