Chief Winemaker Chris Hatcher in Dublin marks a half century of Wolf Blass with a tasting of wines back to 1979

The famous brand is also celebrating both 40 years of their famous Black Label and their recent International Red Winemaker of the Year win


Chris Hatcher, the long-serving Chief Winemaker for Wolf Blass wines, today marked 50 years since the founding of the winery in 1966 with a rare and exclusive tasting in Dublin’s Westbury Hotel.


The wines tasted were historic vintages of their famous Black Label, chosen to highlight the wine’s 40th vintage, another landmark celebration for the company this year. Black Label is Wolf Blass’s historic and iconic blend that is the only wine to win the distinguished Jimmy Watson Trophy an unequalled 4 times.


Finally Chris was also in Ireland to celebrate Wolf Blass wines’ recent announcement as International Red Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in London, their third such win of this prestigious award.


The Wolf Blass Black Label ‘vertical tasting’ offered the select guests the rare chance to taste an incredible 37 years of one of Australia’s most famous wines.


Here are the vintages that were sampled on the day, plus some key events that happened when that year’s wine was fresh in the barrel:

1979 – Margaret Thatcher becomes British Prime Minister

1984 – Apple introduces Macintosh, its first personal computer

1992 – Presidents Bush and Yeltsin proclaim a formal end to the Cold War

1998 – The Good Friday Agreement is signed

2002 – The Euro is officially launched across the EU

2004 – Ireland’s rugby team wins the Triple Crown for the first time since 1985

2010 – The Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland disrupts air travel across Europe

2012 – The 40th vintage of the iconic Wolf Blass Black Label is harvested





Wolfgang Franz Otto Blass was born in 1934 and began studying Champagne techniques in France in 1957; in 1959 he moved to England to study the art of blending before moving to the Barossa Valley in 1961. There, a mere five years later in 1966, he established Wolf Blass Wines with barely a tin shed to his name.


In 1973, Wolf really hit his stride by making the first Wolf Blass Black Label. Black Label would go onto win the 1974 Jimmy Watson Trophy, an accolade that is still considered Australia’s most prestigious and sought after wine award.


And as if one wasn’t enough, Wolf Blass Wines then went onto win two more Jimmy Watson Trophies in 1975 and 1976, followed by a record fourth Jimmy Watson win in 1999.


Since then Wolf Blass wines have gone on to win over 9,000 awards, but at Wolf Blass that’s not enough, because they will always chase better.





Wolf Blass proudly commemorates the 40th vintage release of Black Label this year and celebrates its iconic standing as a benchmark of Australian winemaking excellence.


With the release of the 2012 vintage of Black Label, this their our 40th consecutive vintage of one of the real icons of Australian wine. Those 40 years go back to the first vintage in 1973 when Wolf won the Jimmy Watson Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show.


Since that vintage, so for 40 vintages, the wine has won more than 64 trophies and nearly 300 gold medals; Black Label, over a very long time, has shown not only its incredible quality but also its consistency, year in year out.





In what has proven to be a landmark year for the winery, Wolf Blass was named ‘Red Winemaker of the Year’ at July’s prestigious International Wine Challenge in London.


It’s a triple treat for Wolf Blass, being awarded this accolade for the third time following wins in 2008
and 2013.


In its 33rd year, the International Wine Challenge (IWC) is recognised as one of the world’s finest, most meticulously judged and influential wine competitions.


Wolf Blass came out on top ahead of 15,000 entries from more than 50 countries, demonstrating their strength and consistency of winemaking across wine styles.


Read more about the win by clicking here.