Denning down with our Pack
With the unprecedented situation facing us across the world, at Painted Wolf Wines we are taking inspiration from our mantra “Remarkably persistent, persistently remarkable”, as we focus on keeping our business alive while doing everything we can to help flatten the curve. The success of a pack of painted wolves relies on a strong sense of community, cooperation and the ability to work together and in particular take care of the sick and injured. How wonderful to see these traits being mirrored by the human race as we pull together to combat the crisis sweeping through our neighbourhoods.
With a very successful 2019 behind us and a promising 2020 vintage now in the cellar, we started the year in a strong position and are extremely proud of the support we have been able to give to painted wolf conservation thus far. Our main concern now is to ensure that we are able to continue this work. We have taken the difficult decision to temporarily close our tasting room in Paarl, but our pack is still working hard behind the scenes in preparation for getting back to business as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, here is a roundup of what we have been up to so far this year.
As harvest time comes to an end we are really excited by the quality of the grapes. From wonderfully healthy Pinotage from the Breede River Valley to juicy Mourvedre from Kasteelsig and concentrated old vine Chenin Blanc from Wellington (pictured), Jeremy and Jacquin have been racing from pillar to post turning these grapes into Painted Wolf deliciousness. As is always the way, the winemaking process (and power cuts!) have thrown us some curve balls, but the 2020 vintage is coming along very nicely.
Adventures of an Alpha Female
Emma spent the past couple of months on an extended visit to the UK and Russia, and managed to return to our shores with Savannah in the nick of time. Here are some notes from her travels:
It was a whirlwind few days in the UK before heading for Moscow. I landed in London on the same day as my daughter Savannah arrived from the Netherlands and we headed to the Royal Geographical Society for a CCFA event that evening.
Michael Charton presented ‘My Father’s Coat’, his exploration into South African history told in an extremely engaging manner, with Painted Wolf Pinotage poured during the interval. About 600 tickets were sold with many of the movers and shakers in the conservation world attending.
The following evening we attended the ATTA networking event in the Hand and Flower pub in Hammersmith. The evening was sponsored by the Victoria Falls Hotel where our Den Chenin Blanc is sold by the glass. We have been invited to do a tasting at the hotel🙂. PWW partner with ATTA’s events in SA and we hope to do more work with them in the UK.
I was also able to present our wines at the North South Wines portfolio tasting in London and Savannah went on to represent us in Manchester and Bristol.
On arrival in Moscow I was greeted by minus ten degrees and the first snow of their winter (unusually late), and fortunately a warm welcome by Alex who represents PWW in Russia! The five-day show was a great opportunity to follow up on meetings with importers held during my last visit in September. Trade visitors including sommeliers, bar and restaurant owners could be directed to our retailer in Moscow, ‘Wine Mafia’, raising many a smile. A first for me was dinner at Café Pushkin with vodka in between each course, accompanied by cranberry juice.
Back in the UK, I was thrilled to visit and conduct staff training at Chester Zoo where no fewer than eight of our wines are now listed in the gastropub. The zoo is home to some incredibly healthy wild dogs (pictured below), with substantial extended space for them behind the scenes. Set up as an Non Profit Organisation, Chester Zoo channels all profits, including from food and beverage, into improving the zoo or working with projects in the field.
Up in Gauteng, Amanda attended the launch of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s fabulous new Conservation Campus in Midrand. As well as being a new home for the EWT, the six-hectare property, which features a protected wetland, is a refuge for countless species of indigenous flora and fauna.
The Painted Wolf Wines tasting table was thoroughly enjoyed by guests at the event and Amanda took the chance to catch up with Grant Beverley, Derek van der Merwe and Cole Du Plessis, who work on the frontlines of African wild dog conservation throughout southern Africa. It was also a wonderful opportunity to meet many other EWT staff who travelled to Gauteng for the event. We wish the EWT all the best in their new home and are incredibly privileged to be associated with such a dynamic organisation. We salute the wonderful work they do for wildlife and people alike.
Amanda also attended a small event at The Pantry in Dainfern Square Shopping Centre hosted by our friends from the Tour de Tuli mountain bike adventure. Planning is well underway for the 2020 event: early bird entries have closed but you can still get a great deal on this adventure of a lifetime. Visit their website for more information. Once again, our winemaker Jeremy Borg will be taking part in the event and as in previous years, we will be donating all the wine for riders to purchase (every Rand raised goes towards the important work of Children in the Wilderness).
And finally…the SA consulate in Los Angeles looks like a nice posting if you can get it – look at their official wine stash! 😆🥳🐺🐾
As we den down for a while, we would like to thank you for your support and to wish you all the very best as we navigate our way through this critical period.