Let’s talk about Wolf Blass. Walk into virtually any supermarket in the world, and you’ll find at least a couple of bottles of Wolf Blass wine. Chances are, you’ve had a bottle at one time or another. Maybe you got it as a gift, or maybe you bought it for somebody else. Yellow Label, Red Label, whatever the colour, Wolf Blass seems like a safe, reliable bet. Look at all those medals on virtually every bottle, for crying out loud! This ubiquitous brand is seemingly everywhere, but what do you really know about it? And is the wine any good?
What’s Wolf Blass all about?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Wolf Blass is German wine. That name, right? In reality, Wolf Blass wine comes from Australia – though its colourful founder, the eponymous Wolfgang Franz Otto Blass, came from Germany. After his formative wine years in Germany, France and England, Blass moved to Australia in 1961. He established his company, Wolf Blass Wines, in 1966.
The rest, seemingly, is history. Today, wines bearing the Wolf Blass name are sold in every corner of the world. The company produces about 60 million bottles each year. That’s a success story, right? Let’s take a closer look and discover three things you probably didn’t know about Wolf Blass wines!
3 things you didn’t know about Wolf Blass
Wolf Blass has been around for more than half a century, and a lot has happened in the world of wine in that time. We could write a book about unusual Wolf Blass facts, but let’s go with the top three!
1. Wolf Blass is a big company, but it’s owned by an even bigger one
60 million bottles of wine a year is a lot by any standards. Wolf Blass is a big, big wine brand. Did you know that Wolf Blass is owned by a much larger company? Its parent company is Treasury Wine Estates, one of the world’s leading wine groups. It’s not easy to make a giant like Wolf Blass look small, but overall production at Treasury Wine Estates in 2016 exceeded 400 million bottles! As part of the Treasury portfolio, Wolf Blass is joined by other leading brands like Penfolds, Beringer, Matua, Stags’ Leap and Lindeman’s.
2. Wolf Blass and sport = a winning team
It’s not secret that Wolf Blass sponsors sports and sporting events throughout the world. The company has long supported baseball, basketball, football and other sports in places as diverse as Japan, China, the UK and Australia. Perhaps no other wine company has such links to the world of sport. Remarkably, the company’s sporting ties date back to Mr. Wolf Blass himself, who has long been involved in sports including horse racing, soccer and skiing.
3. Wolf Blass is a “classified” wine
Loosely based on the 1855 classification of Bordeaux wines, Australia has a classification system of its own. Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine was developed by the auction house Langton’s, and is regularly revised based on how wines perform in the secondary auction market. The wines are ranked across three tiers: Exceptional, Outstanding and Excellent. One Wolf Blass wine is featured in the Outstanding category, the Wolf Blass Platinum label Shiraz.
To taste what an Australian “first growth” is like, we’ve got a couple of wines from the Exceptional ranking available:
Do you have any interesting Wolf Blass facts of your own?