About Wolf Blass
The Wolf Blass range of wines is definitely one of the best recognised, both in the UK and around the world, with its iconic, eagle logo, and frequently vivid coloured labels. A brand with about as much history as you can get, from Australia, it produces a wide range of wines, from simple, fruity styles, to some of the greatest and most impressive wines that Australia produces, such as its Grey Label and Presidents Selection. Wolf Blass wines have a very loyal fan base, and the popular Yellow Label is one of the strongest single, stand alone wines in the world.
With Australia leading the field in terms of wine sales in the UK, with 20% of the market, Wolf Blass is 5th in the Australian wine brand rankings, just behind Lindemans, and is the 11th biggest overall wine brand in the UK.
Founded by one of the most charismatic, outspoken and recognisable characters in the Wine Industry, the Wolf Blass company was created by Wolfgang Blass, an east German, born in 1934, who learnt his trade working in wine cellars and vineyards in Europe after the Second World War, and arrived in South Australia, with virtually no money, in 1961.
The company was set up in 1966, and in less than 50 years has become one of the most respected and iconic Australian wine businesses, and ‘Wolfie’, as he is known is one of the best known personalities in the world of wine, as much for his outspoken nature, as for his ever-present bow tie!
After working for a winery, he set up his own business, and bought a 3 hectare plot in Nuriootpa, in the Barossa Valley, where the heart of the business is still based. The name of the road was ‘Bilyara’, which is the Aboriginee word for ‘eagle’, and thus the spread eagle brand and logo was born!
In 1973, the first ‘Black Label’ wine was made, and pipped all other top quality Australian wines to the post, to win the top award in Australia, the Jimmy Watson trophy. Ever outrageous, Wolfgang, in his acceptance speech stated:
My wines are sexy. They make strong women weak, and weak men strong.
The wines went from strength to strength, winning awards nationally and internationally, with Wolf Blass winning red winemaker of the year trophy in the international wine challenge in 2008, and the awards continue to roll in.
Wolf Blass now have a close link with a number of national and international sponsorships, and are closely aligned to sporting activities, namely rugby and cricket.
What Styles Of Wine Do Wolf Blass Produce?
Wolf Blass wines are clearly defined in terms of styles and price points, by the colours of their labels.
Wolf Blass Red Label offers an easy-drinking option into the Wolf Blass family of wines, with a range of mainly dual varietals, including a sparkling, a soft Chardonnay/Semillon, a crisper Semillon/Sauvignon and a straight Chardonnay in the white range. The red range comprises a fruity Cabernet Merlot, a lighter, juicier style of Shiraz Grenache, and a velvety Shiraz Cabernet.
Wolf Blass Yellow Label is probably the most recognised label in the range, especially for its award winning and eternally popular Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines are characterful expressions of the wide range of grape varieties that Wolf Blass produces, from sparkling brut and rose, to a still rose and then onto a wide range of classic whites, including Riesling and 3 rich, ripe, velvety reds, in the form of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Wolf Blass Silver Label offers just 2 wines, but each showing contemporary style from specific regions, a Chardonnay from cool climate Limestone Coast and Adelaide Hills, and a Shiraz/Cabernet from a combination of the Wolf Blass heartland, Barossa Valley, and the Limestone Hills.
Wolf Blass President’s Selection is a range of 3 wines, encapsulating the true essence of Wolf Blass – quality, consistency and regional style. Excellent quality, premium wines, which display elegance and complexity – Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz from Langhorne Creek, Limestone Coast and McLaren Vale.
Wolf Blass Gold Label is the next step up, with these top quality, premium wines, truly showing regional quality at its best. Grapes have been grown in the best regions suited to them, and these are great expressions of individual styles, ranging from an Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, and a cool climate Clare and Eden Valley Riesling, through to the unique Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, and a classic Barossa Shiraz.
Wolf Blass Grey Label was the first Wolf Blass ever created, in 1967, and retains a very special place in the Wolf Blass hierarchy of wines. This range is all about top quality, hand-crafted, iconic wines, which truly represent everything about the region from which they come – and only wines from the best region possible for each variety is selected. The first wine to be created was the Cabernet Shiraz, and Wolf Blass have stayed true to their roots, with this wine being produced exclusively in the Langhorne Creek region. Following this, single varietals were created with a sumptuous Cabernet, also from Langhorne Creek, and an intense, stylish Shiraz from Mclaren Vale.
Wolf Blass Black Label is probably the true showcase of the winery, and is the most award winning wine in the range; this is the winemakers’ offering of the very best blend, from the most premium regions and grape varieties in their portfolio, a fusion of the very best, to create an iconic, and over the years, consistent style of intense, complex wine. The varieties will vary, but are normally Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, with a touch of Malbec, all picked, vinified and matured separately, from different areas, and then put together in the ultimate master winemaker blend!
Wolf Blass Platinum Label Shiraz is simply the ultimate Wolf Blass wine, one for very special occasions, and which represents the whole essence of the company. It honours Australia’s arguably top grape, Shiraz, and the homeland of both this grape, and the Wolf Blass winery, the Barossa. Carefully selected, made in tiny parcels, and absolutely unique, this is the very essence of the Wolf Blass philosophy.
Wolf Blass Eaglehawk - As part of expansion plans, Wolf Blass AM purchased the historic Quelltaler Winery in the Clare Valley in 1987. With this purchase came some of Australia’s oldest and most famous Riesling vineyards, including some that were planted in the 1930s. Wolf was always extremely passionate about the potential of Riesling from the region and thus when he purchased these vineyards he decided a new range should be developed to highlight the fruit sourced from these great vineyards - and thus Eaglehawk was born! The first wines released, from the 1987 vintage, were a Riesling and Fume Blanc.
Today the Eaglehawk range includes nine wines sourced from many different vineyards throughout South Eastern Australia, with an emphasis on quality, character and consistency.