Tag: Wolf Blass

Aug 08 2014

What’s Making Wine News: Wine Market Set to Boom?

Posted on August 08, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Is the Wine Market Set to Boom?

In the latest edition of Gourmet Traveller Wine, wine critic Jeremy Oliver discusses US-based equities firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ (KKR) bid for Treasury Wine Estates (TWE). As you are no doubt aware, KKR has now joined forces with Rhone Capital and upped its offer to $5.20 a share, valuing the company well north of $3 billion.

Oliver suggests TWE shareholders think twice before accepting any offer given that the wine industry typically works on a 15 year business cycle and should peak again soon. While demand for wine in mainland China has slowed down dramatically, in the view of some commentators and industry insiders it doesn’t really matter because renewed growth in US wine demand will soon outstrip available supply.

On another note, while no-one disputes that Penfolds is the crown jewel in the TWE portfolio, Oliver notes that TWE ‘s other significant brand, Wolf Blass, actually outperforms Penfolds in key markets such as Europe and Canada! (Money Talks by Jeremy Oliver, Gourmet Traveller Wine, August/September 2014)

Chinese Wine Market Stumbles

Renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson believes that at least some of the weakness in the previously booming Chinese wine market is a sign that the wine market in China is maturing. While Chinese wine drinkers were once willing to pay almost anything for first-growth Bordeaux and other prestige wines, now Chinese wine drinkers have become “much cannier buyers and are experimenting with a much wider range of labels.”

President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on bribery and the gifting of luxury goods to government officials has also played a big role in dampening demand for top-end drops, but the good news, for Chinese wine buyers at least, is that wine industry players now have to make prices more competitive, work harder and be more … Read the rest

Sep 09 2011

Wolf Blass: The man behind the famous label

Posted on September 09, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

I recently had the good fortune to attend a cocktail party at a beautiful harbourside Sydney mansion for the launch of the current release of the Wolf Blass luxury collection: the Gold, Grey, Black and Platinum labels.

The line-up of wines was excellent with the sublime Platinum Label Shiraz 2008 Grange-like in the complexity and depth of its bouquet. But the real highlight of the evening was the chance to listen to the entertaining musings of the very dapper 77 old Wolf Blass, who is still a roving international ambassador for the brand.

I went home with a copy of Wolf Blass’ biography, Wolf Blass: Behind the Bow Tie, by Liz Johnston. The book proved a fascinating read. Apart from providing a very entertaining history of a German immigrant generally regarded as “larger than life,” the book offered some very interesting insights into the Australian wine industry and Blass’ very important contribution to its development.

Blass’ business success is legendary. His winery, which began in a Barossa Valley tin shed in 1973, became Australia’s number one wine brand by value and volume in 2003. Today it one the jewels in the Treasury Estate (formerly Foster’s) portfolio with production in excess of 70 million bottles a year.

And by any standard, Blass is also one of Australia’s greatest marketers. The ingenious colour coding of the Wolf Blass range, for example, still sets the brand apart for the ease with which it guides consumer access to high quality products as various price points. Johnston describes Blass’ very German penchant for discipline and order, and indeed the clever branding of his wines reminds me of Mercedes Benz with its A to S Class series.

In a country famous for shooting down its tall poppies, Blass fearlessly embraced self-promotion, proudly wearing the “Australia … Read the rest