9 things we are thankful for on our ninth birthday
As it’s our birthday month and we are nine years old, we thought it would be apt to look back at nine aspects of our company that sum it all up.
- Beginnings: Painted Wolf Wines was founded by Jeremy and Emma on 4th April 2007. We made our very first vintage in 2007, in a very modest small cellar on Donkerhoek farm which we rented from some friends. The first few harvests saw the Borg family all pitching in to help with the harvest. There were just two wines made in small quantities, a pinotage and a red cape blend. The pinotage was an immediate hit with The Wine Enthusiast in The USA, scoring 90 points- helping us to sell the wine quickly! It later went on to get a silver medal from the Swiss Air competition and a special mention from UK wine writer, Robert Joseph.
- Pinotage. It is very fitting that this special South African grape should make up our most acclaimed wine, Guillermo, as well as best seller, the Den Pinotage. Guillermo garnered over 21 awards and accolades over the years and was responsible for Jeremy’s nomination for Diner’s Club Winemaker of the year in 2015. Guillermo is named after Billy Hughes, who, with his late wife Penny, were the first to join our pack of growers and provide us with absolutely top notch grapes, the fundamental building block of a great wine.
- Which brings us to our Pack. The wonderful people who invested in our company from the beginning, believing in our vision and what we had to offer the worlds of wine and wild dogs. Our pack has been instrumental in guiding the company into a space where we work together with the idea that the health of the company is reliant on the efforts of every member of the pack.
- Our daily pack which includes Carmen, our right hand woman, coordinator of all the disparate bits and pieces that make up a wine business; Amanda, Jeremy’s charismatic and enthusiastic sister, who spreads the word and the wine in Gauteng; Lori, label designer, writer and web admin, who draws silly cartoons and comes up with outrageous dog related puns; and finally Martinique who started work before she officially started work by dancing off to the KKNK festival over Easter on our behalf, and will be heading up the wine club, for starters.
- Our artists who have created beautiful wild dog artwork for various endeavours, including our logo (see picture left) and other label art by Jenny Metelerkamp; Lin Barrie, whose paintings feature on our Pictus labels; Ros Koch for our much loved Rosalind pup, as well as all the artists and photographers featured on our website who have donated their work to help raise funds for conservation.
- The Endangered Wildlife Trust and Tusk, our two main beneficiaries who do so much towards conservation in general and wild dogs in particular, it has been an honour to partner with you.
- Our pawprint would not have extended very far without the efforts of our importers around the world. A mention must be made of the partnership Emma has developed with ATTA (African Travel & Tourism Association). She has sponsored the wine on their stand and at their ever popular function at Indaba (7-9 May) every year, which has led her to work with importers so far in Namibia, Zambia, Seychelles and Kenya. It also led to our partnership for the second year with Leading Hotels of the World at the We Are Africa Event in Cape Town from 2-5 May. We look forward to the pairings of our wines with the chef’s creations from the 12 apostles, Saxon hotel and the Cape Grace
- All the cyclists big and small who have embraced Jeremy vision of Pedals4Paws and taken part in our cycle adventures through wild dog territory and raise funds for wild dog conservation. We hope to see you in September our first Rare Carnivore Ride at Somkhanda Game reserve in Northern Kwazulu Natal. Invitations will shortly be sent out for the 40 places on the ride.
- Finally, our company would be nowhere without all the wine drinkers out there who love our wines and share our enthusiasm for conservation. Thank you for buying our wines and sharing them with friends and family. We would be nothing without your support.
Jeremy and Emma