Leader Of The Pack

Leader Of The Pack

It can be said that Jeremy Borg of Painted Wolf Wines is a bit of an inspiration. Not only does he make fantastic wine, constantly campaign on the behalf of wildlife conservation, hobnob with royalty, and undertake world travel, but is also someone who still has the time for others, especially those who have a thirst for adventure!

Back in 2012 we had reached a point where we were beginning to feel more confident about taking a leap of faith into all things wine. By now, we were regular attendees at various wine tastings and events local to us, and had decided upon having a go at the WSET Advanced.

It was around this time that we attended a wine tasting hosted by Jeremy, where we were not only introduced to his wines, and his work involving animal conservation, but came away feeling inspired. Therefore, we took the opportunity to introduce ourselves and highlight our aspirations. This then led to a conversation about the possibility of coming over to South Africa sometime in the future to make wine, and the rest, as they say, is now history…!

At the end of the year, we had both completed and successfully passed our WSET Advanced, and so felt that it was time to take a deep breath, hold hands and with a leap of faith – jump! This meant bringing to a conclusion our jobs and careers, so as to immerse ourselves in all things wine! Would it work out for us? We had no idea just the faith to give it a go, and to see where the journey would take us!

So, at the beginning of 2013, we embarked on our first wine adventure, and what better way to start than South Africa!

Jeremy had been kind enough to not only put us up at his home for a few days until we found our own accommodation but also found us some work experience in a Stellenbosch winery!

It was here, that Jeremy had some of his wines, and we were given the opportunity to help out with the 2013 harvest and production! Talk about jumping straight into the deep end, but it was definitely worth it, despite having a massive learning curve to climb! There’s nothing like a challenge to inspire, and this is exactly what it did!

Jeremy has a fantastic range of wines – we have written about them previously, but feel compelled to create another list so as to bring you right up to date with the wines of Painted Wolf!

South Africa really did get 2013 off to a flying start, and a step in the right direction for our ‘all things wine’ development.

Now, as we have already highlighted, it’s not all about wine when it comes to Jeremy. His wines are not simply called Painted Wolf for nothing, and if you care to look a little closer, each bottle has its own reference to this quirky canine character, either by name or within the labels art work.

The painted dogs of Africa and their threat of extinction, as humans continue to encroach on their natural habitat and hunting ground, has led Jeremy on his own journey of discovery about these animals and has gone on to create an immense passion to help save them.

Not only does a percentage of the price of a bottle of Painted Wolf wine go toward the continued conservation of these dogs, but Jeremy can also be found tirelessly campaigning on many other levels, including cycling and running, in order to continue to raise awareness. And it’s not all just about dogs, Jeremy has a passion for animal conservation in general, and his commitment and enthusiasm has seen him hobnobbing with the likes of Prince William and Prince Harry.

There is much beauty and splendour within the continent of Africa, and it’s people like Jeremy who are not only aware of this, but also understand it’s fragility, and have taken from this, a real passion to do their best at preserving some of this for future generations to enjoy as well. Add a glass or two of Painted Wolf wine and voila! There you have it!!

Our time in South Africa really has left a lasting impression upon us, and we do hope to return there again in the not-so-distant future, and we are fairly confident that when we do, Jeremy will feature in these next African Wine Adventures!

In the meantime, we have managed to stay in touch, including the most recent occasion which not only just happened to be Valentines Day, but also a chance to taste wine! So, off we ventured down the M1 and to Leeds, to attend the North South Wines trade event that Jeremy was attending and of course, showcasing his wines.

Whilst Jeremy is in the UK, he knows his wines back home are in good hands, especially his Chenin Blanc, as he has Vincent Careme of Domaine Vincent Careme looking after the ferment!

It was here that Jeremy presented us with a pair of stuffed socks! What was wrapped within this mysterious package we wondered?!? Well, we can say that the socks were in fact clean – a bit of a relief we must say!

Well, what was in them?!? Ah! What better than the Painted Wolf Lycaon Grenache 2013 – a wine that we personally had a hand-in making! And we must say, it’s probably the best Grenache that we have ever tasted, then we would be biased wouldn’t we!

We are presently in the throes of getting our online Wine Shop up and running, and when we do, we’ll be sure to let you know, and please feel free to browse amongst its virtual shelves, as you never know, you might just come across one or two wines from Painted Wolf!

Just before we go, we thought that we would give you a taster of what Jeremy has to offer from our tasting notes from the North South Wines event (we have provided links to the Painted Wolf website, though vintages may vary):

Den Chenin 2016 – A freshness that accentuates the fruit, and a nice roundness to the body, making this wine a pleaser

Old Vine Chenin 2015 – At a very reasonable 12.5%, this tasty little number has everything going for it – freshness but with a rich ripe fruit roundness, honeyed with a touch of spice – now then!

Roussanne 2014 – A mediterranean lovely! Crisp, honeyed with peach and melon, and lasting

Penny Viognier 2014–  Now this really did get our pulses going! Wow! Rich and ripe with ample stone fruit, orange blossom and a hint of wet stone!

Swartland Syrah 2013 – Plenty of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, five spice and pepper, lifted by fresh acidity

Guillermo Pinotage 2013 – Meaty, savoury entwined with ripe black fruits, as a good Pinotage should be!

Pictus 3 2011 – A lovely perfumed nose of sweet candied fruit and fruit cake, with bramble fruit, and cinnamon spice

Pictus White (formally Peloton) 2011 – This wine has been treated to 9 months in oak and has had no SO2 added, still be plenty of freshness, a curvy body bursting with ripe tropical fruit that leads to a long lasting finish!

More on Jeremy’s wines soon!

If you want to know more about Jeremy’s conservation then please click on the following links:

Endangered Wildlife Trust

Tusk Trust

Painted Dog Conservation

Painted Wolf Wines

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