Wine-making philosophy


My wine making philosophy is a product of the numerous paths I have taken in my life and the very fine wine people with whom I have worked with over the years. As a former professional chef and a foodie, I have a great interest in making wines that are balanced and harmonious with a persistent lively finish. This conveniently aligns with many of the attributes of the Painted Wolf, who are energetic, balanced and have the persistence to run for hours.

I am interested in long term sustainable relationships with grape growers, either as investors in Painted Wolf Wines or with other mutually beneficial relationships – these are our grower ‘pack’. Wherever possible we create wines which give the individual growers credit, and through this help to promote sustainable viticulture and wine.

Our wine making strategy is largely based around the production of hand made red wines, with a smaller range and quantity of white wine. Though I have worked in the cellar and the vineyard, I am not an academically qualified wine maker. The bulk of my professional life in wine has been on the commercial side. I have however had the privilege of working and learning from a number of wonderful wine makers, particularly during the time I worked for Kent Rosenblum at Rosenblum Cellars in California and for Charles Back at Fairview.

We do not own our own cellar, but do have equipment suitable for artisan wine making and quite a number of barrels. This equipment is placed at the cellar of a wine making friend, where we “den” down to make our wines. Over the years, and as our production has increased we have ( as a successful and expanding wild dog pack would) changed Dens a few times. I have had the privilege of engaging with a number of different wine makers during this period, from whom I have learnt a great deal. We also retain the services of Trizanne Barnard a rising winemaking star, who helps me with blending , and with some of the scientific and technical aspects.

We are also proud of the South African benchmark varietals, Pinotage and Chenin blanc and strive to highlight these in our range.