Wanderings on wheels
In the beginning
The story of the Painted Wolf Wines company began in the 1990’s when two wanderers happened to meet while working in the same bush camp in Botswana and were married under an acacia tree in Savuti.
Before this, Jeremy had travelled from Malawi where his family was based, to school in Zimbabwe, followed by University in the UK, then work in the food and beverage industry in UK and the USA. He returned to Africa when his sister, Amanda, volunteered him for the cooking job at Lloyds Camp.
Emma, grew up in the UK, wanderlust taking her to work in France and the USA before returning to University there. Having worked in the hotel and catering industry for a few years she bought a round the world ticket and spent a year working and travelling with a friend. On a subsequent trip to South Africa, she happened to be in the right place at the right time when visiting Botswana and landed the job managing Lloyds Camp. When you are in the bush, you need wheels, so Emma bought an old Series 3 Land Rover with a C-Registration plate and called her “Charlie”.
After their marriage, the Land Rover gradually earned a new moniker - a portmanteau version of both their names: “Jemma”. Jemma took the two of them on numerous adventures through Zambia and Zimbabwe including a six week road trip to Malawi from South Africa, before finding a home in Paarl and a new role hauling grapes from vineyard to cellar for the fledgling Painted wolf project
As the alpha pair of the Painted Wolf Wines pack, Jeremy and Emma still need to travel extensively, ranging from country to country, promoting Painted Wolf wines and advocating for African wild dogs and the wild places they live in. Jeremy tends to wander to the UK, Canada and USA, while Emma has made sales and promotional trips in the past few years to China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Germany, Belgium, Zambia and Russia.
Jeremy started MOUNTAIN BIKING for fun and almost immediately started looking at ways to meld this form of wandering with the wine and as a way to create awareness of the plight of wild dogs. He decided to set up some rides that would take participants through some of the wildest parts of Southern Africa, with a plan to ride to as many of the conservancies with wild dogs as possible. Several rides followed through some of the most pristine and beautiful parts of Southern Africa and afforded opportunities for a variety of fund raising activities. Jeremy took the concept to the UK in 2016 to celebrate Tusk’s 25th anniversary and to raise funds in the UK for their wild dog conservation programmes. He cycled from Devon all the way up to Scotland, holding food and wine tasting events along the route and raising funds through direct donations and a wild dog art auction.
The rides take a lot of time and effort to organize and the wine business takes priority, so for the last few years, Jeremy has sated his need for crazy rides through the African bush, by riding the Tour de Tuli. Painted Wolf Wines is a sponsor, donating over 1000 bottles of wine which are enjoyed by cyclists each evening of the tour. All proceeds from sales go to the Children in the Wilderness charity, which supports conservation education.
Other conservation focused wanderings include riding the 947 cycle race in Johannesburg as part of the EWT pack, running the Two Oceans Marathon for African Wildlife Conservation and hosting fundraising food and wine pairing evening whenever possible.
For a timeline of key events in Painted Wolf Wines history – visit our timeline