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Wolfgang Franz Otto Blass

b. 1934

Wolfgang Franz Otto Blass was born in East Germany in 1934 and at 15 began an apprenticeship in wine making and viticulture in his grandfather’s vineyard. He studied oenology at Wuzburg University, becoming the youngest-ever recipient of the Kellermeister Diploma. At 27, after gathering winemaking experience in the Champagne region of France, he migrated to Australia. He arrived in Australia in 1961 with a three-year contract with Kaiser Stuhl Wines, 100 pounds in his pocket and a belief that he could "probably add something" to the Australian wine industry. The early ’70s heralded a new era in the Australian winemaking industry as Australian drinkers developed a taste for dry red table wines. Wolf was labelled the "golden boy" during this era as he developed a new red wine style through selected oak maturation, with "drinkability" as the keyword. In 1973 he bought his vineyard Bilyara, an Aboriginal word meaning "Eaglehawk", and took as his symbol the eagle, the national emblem of Germany. Throughout his career he has won record numbers of awards. By the end of 1990, the number of national and international awards since his first 1966 vintage totalled 2,575. Today, Wolf continues to play a large role in the winemaking industry as an ambassador for Wolf Blass Wines International, participating in promotion, overseas development and maintaining the quality and style of the winemaking production.

Updated 2018