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Chasing excellence since 1966

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Welcome to Wolf Blass Explore Our Wines 

Our History

Wolfgang Franz Otto Blass was born in Germany in 1934.

After Wolf ran away from school, his parents gave him an ultimatum: start a 3-year winemaking apprenticeship or get back to class. And so began a journey which changed the winemaking world.

After studying Champagne techniques in France in 1957, Wolf became the youngest person ever to graduate with a Masters in Oenology (Wine Science) from Veitschoechheim-Wuerzberg. In 1959, he moved to England to study the art of blending before moving to the Barossa Valley in 1961, deciding against a move to Venezuela. In 1966, he established Wolf Blass Wines.

The Eagle Takes Flight

1966 – 1969

Wolf Blass Wines was established in 1966 when Wolf began making small parcels of his own wine. The first Wolf Blass Yellow Label was made from the 1966 vintage. The first wine to bear the Wolf Blass name was the 1967 Grey Label Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz, which carried all the Langhorne Creek hallmarks of softness, drinkability and concentrated flavours of eucalypt and mint.

Two years later, Wolf Blass acquired the 3 hectare 'Bilyara' site, 4kms from Nuriootpa in South Australia's Barossa Valley. Upon learning Bilyara is the Aboriginal word for Eaglehawk, and with the eagle being the national emblem of Germany, Wolf decided Wolf Blass wines would carry the eagle emblem.

Makings Of A Legend

1970 – 1986

Wolf hires his first winemaker, John Glaetzer, in 1970. John is later appointed to the role of Senior Winemaker in 1974, and the two form a formidable partnership and one of Australia’s most successful winemaking teams. The iconic Black Label is launched in 1973, the first a blend of 80% Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Eden Valley Shiraz matured in American and French oak for over 16 months.

Just eight years after making his first wine, Wolf Blass wins the Jimmy Watson Trophy at the 1974 Royal Melbourne Wine Show for the 1973 Wolf Blass Black Label. Wolf would go on to win the award again in 1975 and 1976.

A New Generation

1987 – 1999

Chris Hatcher joins Wolf Blass as Senior Winemaker in 1987. Chris would go on to become Chief Winemaker, a role he still holds today. Five years later, Chris would win his first major accolade, when the winery was awarded the Robert Mondavi Trophy for the Winemaker of the Year at the 1992 International Wine and Spirits Competition.

In 1997, Caroline Dunn was hired as a red winemaker: she would be instrumental in creating Platinum Label Shiraz and the Gold Label range. She went on to become a highly respected and influential Senior Winemaker.

In 1999, Caroline became the first female to win the Jimmy Watson Trophy, for the 1998 Black Label which she made with John Glaetzer. Just two years later, the 1998 Wolf Blass Black Label won the winery a fifth Jimmy Watson Trophy – a astonishing feat unmatched by any other producer. 

A Decade Of Awards

2000 – Today

In 2000, Wolfgang Blass was awarded the Maurice O'Shea Award, one of the Australian wine industry's highest honours, for his enormous contribution to the industry during his 35-year career. The following year saw the opening of the new $30 million Wolf Blass winery.

From 2008 to 2016, Wolf Blass would go on to win a slew of awards, including IWC International Red Winemaker of the Year (2008, 2013, 2016), the IWSC International Winemaker of the Year (2013), Intervin Winery of the Year (2013), CWSA Australian Wine Producer of the Year (2013), and the Australian Export Hero Award (2008).

In 2019, Wolf Blass took a bold step into the future, launching the Makers Project, a range of wines which celebrate the artistry and wine making innovation at the heart of Wolf Blass since 1966.