Painted Wolf “Guillermo” Swartland Pinotage 2009

Jeremy and Emma Borg have two passions, wine and nature! Both of course go hand in hand but in Jeremy and Emma’s case the nature side concentrates on their enthusiasm and love for the rare African Wild Dog alias the “Painted Wolf”.

Their wine business began as an experiment which started out in 2005 when friends who owned a wine farm in Paarl called the Borg’s to say they had found a pocket of excess grapes which were of good quality. After rallying around wine making equipment from friends and renting a corner space at the Black Pearl winery they produced a 1000 bottles of their first wine, the Borg Family Shiraz!


Inspired by this they went onto making a second vintage which meant leaving their work, once again, in England where they were marketing wine for a Cape wine business. However after the 2006 vintage they made the decision to return to the Cape so that they could pursue their own business……making wine with meaning! In other words they wanted to create an organisation which would allow them to focus all of their passions not only for wine, but also for conservation and art (Emma is a talented artist and responsible for all the labels) so they could utilise all their skills.


Nevertheless finding a name along with a suitable project took a lot of thought and gave Jeremy many sleepless nights!


Jeremy eventually became inspired while leafing through a copy of the  Africa Geographic Magazine and came across an article about the reintroduction of Painted Wolves in Natal – and this was the spark which quickly led to a trademark search and hasty registration of Painted Wolf. They talked about this to a number of UK friends who were equally as excited as they were and went along to loan the Borg’s capital which they desperately needed!


Just before the 2007 vintage they moved back to South Africa and happily settled on a small holding in Paarl and set about purchasing all the right equipment for a micro winery! With the business ready to start they needed grapes and were fortunate to be introduced to Billy and Penny Hughes who own an organic wine farm in the Swartland. The association between the families has grown with each member helping each other with their different talents. This friendship has afforded the Borg’s the opportunity to buy grapes grown on the Hughes farm for The Painted Wolf range.


The rest is history as The Painted Wolf wine business has grown enormously which has meant Jeremy having to also source grapes from other producers in the Paarl and Swartland regions to keep up. Jeremy is in overall control of making all his wines but has the assistance from the highly talented winemaker, Trizanne Barnard.


The range of wines is fairly extensive and fall under Our Pack varieties, Cape Hunting Blends and the Den Comfort wines. A portion of every bottle sold goes to The Endangered Wildlife Trust research program for the African Wild Dog. Last week an invitation by Jeremy and Emma allowed the opportunity to taste their wines along with food matched by Bertus Basson of Overture restaurant. It was a cold and wintery day so we tucked into the delicious reds and in particular the Guillermo Swartland Pinotage 2009. The grapes for this wine were sourced from Billy (Guillermo) and Penny Hughes farm, Kasteelsig.  Here the Pinotage vineyards are unirrigated which results in intense concentration of fruit in the wine.


The wine is a dark velvety plum colour with gorgeous aromas of exotic spice and ripe plum. The palate is smooth with generous flavours of mulberry and plum with subtle savoury spice leading you to the long finish.


We enjoyed the wine with matured Entrecote served with crisp sweet breads and beer battered onion rings! Delicious combination!


Expect to pay: R98.00


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