In this winemaker's profile we meet Jeremy Borg, the winemaker behind the impressive Painted Wolf Wines. Painted Wolf sources its fruit from Paarl, Swartland and Stellenbosch.
Jeremy started Painted Wolf wines with his wife Emma in 2007. A restaurant owner in San Francisco, he eventually moved into wine, gaining experience in every facet of the industry. But it was a long road before Jeremy started making his own wine, first working in the retail business, then with a wine broker, and in the Rosenberg cellars in Oakland.
After another career switch to a safari park in Botswana, Jeremy met Emma, where they decided to ensure that their future life together would also contribute to the conservation of the African wilderness. It was only after helping with the marketing strategy of a series of African wineries that Jeremy started producing his own wines. Here, he implemented every skill he had learnt from the fascinating breadth of his prior careers.
It was out of this that Painted Wolf Wines was conceived. The company has just celebrated its tenth anniversary, along with a host of awards in their relatively short existence. Their ethos to ‘paint your palate’ has evidently paid off, winning the British Airways Trophy for the best Shiraz at the 2012 Old Mutual Trophy Wines show. Focusing on Chenin Blanc, Pinotage and Rhone varietals, Painted Wolf Wines uses a range of grapes from vineyards Paarl, Stellenbosch and the Swartland.
The ‘pack collection’ consists of three whites, all having resided in barriques for 10 months, produces from 30 year old vines grown in sandy South African soil. All three provide a phenomenal experience in both smell and taste. The Old Vine Chenin 2015 offers an inviting honey scent, and a stable composure to the palate that has been compared to a Demi-Sec Vouvray, though be under no illusion as to the uniqueness of these wines.
Receiving particular praise from reviewers was the Guillermo Pinotage 2013. The Pinotage grape is the signature red wine grape of South Africa, magically handled by Painted Wolf to create an exceptional product. A spicy aroma with a dark fruit undertone, this homage to Jeremy’s skill has a structure that lends itself to longevity, thanks to a good level of acidity.
A final example of this glorious selection of wines is the 2011 Pictus. Taking its name from the Latin for African Wild Dog, amplifying the ability of this wine to carry you away to the South African vineyards. This incredibly fruity delight is the culmination of equal parts Shiraz, Mourvedre and Grenache. The remarkable fruit flavour is tinged with liquorice, soy and tapenade. The freshness means that flavour is not overly assertive and at 14.5%, it is a not to be missed by enthusiasts.
Painted Wolf's Wines and their quality are testament to Jeremy and Emma's ethos of being "remarkably persistent, persistently remarkable". Their passion for wines is coupled with their passion for the beauty and wilderness that surrounds them. A portion of every sale is donated to the research and conservation of the African Wild Dog, as well as pedals4paws, which hopes to encourage more cycling adventures in the areas.
Winemaker profile written by John Hanley for Novel Wines.