Painted Wolf Guillermo Pinotage 2019
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Intense aromas of ripe blue fruit, violets, licorice, cloves and white chocolate. Light-to medium-bodied and slightly austere, with fine tannins and succulent fruit. Hints of crushed stones, too. Long finish. Vegan. Drinkable now, but probably better in a year or two.
The story of Painted Wolf winery is a love story, beginning in the early 1990s when safari camp manager Emma found her camp in need of a chef. Jeremy, an experienced chef, had by then started his journey into winemaking, was due to begin a seasonal wine making job in the Cape before returning to his full time position at Rosenblum cellars in California. Jeremy took what was intended to be a short sabbatical from his cellar position to cook for the camp in Botswana. However, things took an unexpected turn as he immersed himself back into the African bush of his childhood and he and Emma became an item. This eventually led to a wedding under a big acacia tree in the African wilderness, where the snapping wildlife photographers outnumbered all of the other guests. Emma and Jeremy made a pact on that day to make it their life’s work to support conservation and African wild spaces.
Jeremy joined the winemaking team at Fairview Wine Estates, and was instrumental in the development of Goats do Roam, a Rhône style blend, at one time the top selling premium South African wine. After struggling for a few years to find the right space, a chance encounter with a magazine discussing the plight of Painted Wolves in South Africa led to the creation of a company whose ideals and philosophy built on the incredible empathy, social interaction, energy and cooperation between African Painted Wolves. Painted Wolf Wines nurture relationships which allow the crafting of wines which have a lot of character, and which are crafted to deliver a great deal of pleasure. A regular stream of revenue allows for the ongoing funding of half a dozen different charities supporting the conservation of the Painted Wolf, and other species - they like the underrepresented and the “unloved”. They also support poor and underprivileged children living in wilderness areas - one cannot sustainably protect wild spaces and wild animals unless the people who live in the immediate proximity see the benefit from conservation too. Over the years relationships have been forged with organic and sustainable grape growers in half a dozen South African wine producing regions.
Over the years they have managed to donate around 4% of their revenue to conservation, a significant part of their profit. Their efforts have been recognized and they are the recipient of a Cheetah award from the Endangered Wildlife Trust in recognition of their efforts. Their wines continue to get better and better and in 2019 came out from the cold to be judged to be the most successful producer of the year at the prestigious Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. Over the past years this award had consistently gone to South Africa prestigious blue-chip wines.
Literally meaning "the black land," Swartland takes its name from the endangered, indigenous "renosterbos" (translating to rhino bush), which used to be plentiful enough to turn the entire landscape a dark color certain during times of year. The district, attracting some of the most adventurous and least interventionist winemakers, excels in robust and full-bodied reds as well as quality fortified wines.
South Africa’s signature grape, Pinotage is a distinctively earthy and rustic variety. In 1924 viticulturists crossed finicky Pinot Noir and productive, heat-tolerant Cinsault, and created a variety both darker and bolder than either of its parents! Today it is popular in South Africa both as a single varietal wine and in Cape blends. Somm Secret—The name “Pinotage” is a subtle portmanteau. The Pinot part is obvious, but the second half is a bit confusing. In the early 1900s, Cinsault was known in South Africa as “Hermitage”—hence Pinotage.