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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Wolf Blass, Wolf Blass Wines

n.d.
Joe Greenberg

watercolour, crayon, coloured pencil, fibre-tipped pen and gouache on paper (sheet: 50.5 cm x 25.4 cm, image: 39.9 cm x 15.7 cm)

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.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2001
© Estate of Joe Greenberg

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Subject professions

Business, trades and industry

Donated by

Joe Greenberg (37 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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Corporate Characters

Magazine article by Gillian Raymond, 2005

A collection of thirty-seven caricatures by the artist Joe Greenberg capture the heroes and villians of Australian business in the 1980s.

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The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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