Yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting with the Godfather of the Barossa, Ben Glaetzer, of Glaetzer Wines.
He was in Perth doing tastings for a couple of days, as part of one of the most hectic schedules we have ever heard of.
What an incredible gentleman…not only does he own and run his family wine label but he also operates a wine making business that caters for a big portion of the Barossa and surrounding regions. On a yearly basis, Ben and his team make the wine for almost 1000 different bottle types each vintage.
The volume and vastness of variety Ben has to work with is simply staggering.
And due to this huge number of varieties, vintage for his team usually starts in mid-January and doesn’t end until late May.
7 days a week, 14-16 hours a day, for 4-5 months.
That is solid! Then once this finishes…the fun begins.
Like most Godfather-esk wine-makers, Ben is not one to rely on marketing teams to sell his wines. So he then spends the next 4-5 months on the road, meeting major wine retailers, "making them offers, they simply couldn't refuse" (to paraphrase Don Corleone of the Godfather).
From Texas (where he enjoys some of the best steak the U.S has to offer), to New York, onwards to Europe and through Asia.
Then after his international exploits, he will spend time wandering the states of Australia too, promoting his treasured wines and craft.
It is hard to dispute Ben’s passion and love for his wines - showing the world just what can come from one of our most famous wine regions.
He pounds pavements, talks till his voice becomes raspy and promotes his beloved brand to everyone that will take the time to meet with him. He speaks of his family lineage, where he has taken the business and what the future holds.
If you get the chance, you should take the time to meet Ben, he is without a doubt one of the friendliest and easy going wine makers going around.
With his schedule and work load you could be forgiven for thinking he may be stressed and tired but he is anything but. He loves his brand and the wine he makes. Ben is passionate about the industry and what he can do to make it better.
And most importantly, his wines speak for themselves.
Hailing from the Northern Barossa Valley, there are only four wines…all red. Shiraz sits as the dominant variety in all of the wines (as to be expected).
His 4 wines are: ‘Wallace’ Shiraz Grenache (TVH Price - $19.95 / RRP - $21.95), ‘Bishop’ Shiraz (TVH Price - $30.95 / RRP - $32.99), ‘Anaperenna’ Shiraz Cabernet (TVH Price - $44.95 / RRP $51.95) and the ‘Amon Ra’ Shiraz (TVH Price - $86.95 / RRP - $94.95).
Barossa shiraz is big and bold, almost beastly at times, yet Ben manages to tame that and provide a subtle sophistication as well.
His wines display this strength and yet the balance is undeniable.
Released early, the current vintage is 2016 across the four wines, they are beautiful now and yet hold so much promise for the future. The power is ethereal, abundantly clear but not front and centre. It wraps itself marvellously in the bright Shiraz fruit and is an absolute wonder to behold.
These are wines that simply must be experienced. They are perfect at home on a Wednesday night with an incredible BBQ'd steak, as they are in some of the best steak restaurants in the world. Drink them now or lay them down and watch them only become more impressive through the years…pure magic!
Glaetzer, while it is a Barossa household wine name…watch this space…it won’t be long before it is known globally as a flagship Australian-red….Ben certainly has the wine world captivated.
Trust us, his wines, when you taste them, "make you an offer, you simply can't refuse"....and that offer is to say "yes" to another glass.
Happy drinking Winos!
Toby & Tom