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Treasury ‘best thing that’s happened’ to Wolf Blass

Premium Australian producer Wolf Blass will drive to promote its icon wines under its new owner Treasury Wine Estates.

Foster’s completed the spin-off of its wine division in May this year, in a move welcomed by Wolf Blass chief winemaker Chris Hatcher as ‘the best thing that’s happened to us’.

The new company, Treasury Wine Estates, runs a portfolio of brands including Penfolds, Beringer, Wolf Blass, Lindeman’s, Stags’ Leap Winery, Wynn’s Coonawarra, Etude and Chateau St Jean.

Hatcher said they were delighted to be part of a dedicated wine company. ‘It’s a very exciting time. We’re much more confident about the brands and we can now start looking at what Wolf Blass can do,’ he told Decanter.com in London yesterday.

Hatcher praised Foster’s for its ‘huge influence’ in building the ‘every day’ and entry-level wines in the Blass portfolio, like Red and Yellow Labels, but said focus on the top end of the brand had been lost.

‘We didn’t talk about wine much in company meetings,’ he said.

Under its chief executive David Dearie, TWE will increase promotion of its brands’ top cuvees, as well as increasing promotion of single vineyard wines such as Tasmania’s Heemskerk, Hatcher said

The latter would be an example of wine produced in ‘small batches that wouldn’t have got through the Foster’s system before.’

Hatcher is in London to launch the latest releases of its icon brands, the Grey Label Robe Mount Benson Shiraz Cabernet 2009, the Black Label Langhorne Creek McLaren Vale Cabernet Shiraz Malbec 2007, and the Platinum Label Barossa Shiraz 2008, which retail in the UK at between £28 and £65.

The 2007 is the 35th consecutive vintage of the Black Label, which was first produced in 1973 by founder Wolf Blass on the Bilyara Estate in Barossa.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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