‘It was a hard bloody road. Rub­ber boots and over­alls, was what it was’

The Weekend Australian - Life - - FOOD & WINE - WOLF BLASS

“There was a chap called Ge­orge Fair­brother,” says Wolf. “A very im­por­tant chief wine judge (in the 60s). I said, ‘I think I’d bet­ter start mak­ing a bit of my own wine’. He said, ‘Look, that’s the real McCoy up there in Langhorne’s Creek. You get beau­ti­ful shi­rarz’. That was how it was started off. Then, on the way back from the Grand Fi­nal in Mel­bourne I stopped at Bests Wines (in Vic­to­ria’s Great Western re­gion), and I tasted some maulbec, and I said, ‘Can I buy a bar­rel?’ It was a bloody big deal. But the wine­maker said, ‘Yep’. So that was my very first wine: a 1966, shi­rarz from Langhorne’s Creek blended with maulbec from Great Western. Was 2500 bot­tles.”

At the be­gin­ning of 1973, Wolf Blass was given an ul­ti­ma­tum by his then-em­ployer: if he wanted to keep his job, he had to stop mak­ing wine for him­self.

“I said, give me one hour,” re­mem­bers Wolf. “So I

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