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Glaetzer

The Glaetzer family are of German descent. They emigrated from Brandenburg, and after seven weeks aboard the Nord-Deutscher Lloyd steamer Hapsburg arrived in Australia in 1888, and settled in the town of Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley; the Glaetzer's are some of the earliest recorded viticulturists in the region. Fast forward to 1968, when Colin Glaetzer completed an agriculture degree, followed by an oenology degree in 1970, both from Roseworthy. He gained experience working in wineries overseas, and returned to Australia in 1985 to run the Barossa Valley Estate where he created the now iconic E&E Black Pepper Shiraz and the celebrated Ebenezer range of wines. Worldwide recognition followed, and in 1995 Colin founded Glaetzer Wines with his wife Judith and three sons, to produce boutique premium wines under his own family label. Since the first release in 1996 they have never looked back, and today the Glaetzer name is synonymous with super premium Barossa Valley wines. Colin has been awarded the title of Baron of the Barossa, in recognition of his winemaking skills and contribution to the cultural traditions of the Barossa Valley. This is a lifetime accolade that is awarded by invitation only. Colin's son Ben is now the dynamo that heads up the business. He also graduated from Roseworthy, and gained experience in wineries in Australia, France and the Middle East. Ben achieved a 96/100 score from Robert Parker for his 2003 Amon Ra, which catapulted him to global recognition. The focus is on the production of small-scale premium red wines, and Ben takes a minimal intervention approach, mingling the concepts of French terroir, and Australian vineyard site knowledge. All grapes for Glaetzer wines are supplied from a group of long-term third and fourth generation growers, and come from the small Ebenezer sub-region (only 1.5 sq miles), in the northern Barossa Valley and where the first vines were planted at the time of settlement. These ancient vineyards are dry-grown, and the most exceptional fruit comes from 80 to 110 year old non-grafted bush vines. These are extremely low yielding with the oldest vines only producing 0.5 to 1 ton per acre [the usual optimum is between 3 to 5]. The terroir here is unique, sandy clay loam over solid limestone which together with the climate, which is warmer than other places in the Barossa, with low rainfall and relative humidity, creates full-bodied, deeply coloured wines, hugely concentrated with enormous character, yet with a softness and elegance of fruit. Ben uses a specific neutral strain of yeast for all ferments, especially selected to express the fruit's natural flavours. Pump-overs are usually twice daily, and there is an extended time on skins which Ben believes adds softness, structure and tannin development to the finished wines. Natural malolactic fermentation takes place in French and American hogsheads, and the wines are racked and aged for 12 to 18 months depending on the vintage. Glaetzer has been named a 5 Star Winery by James Halliday. Ben has won a raft of prestigious awards and is internationally acclaimed, and he too is a Baron of the Barossa. His small portfolio of wines are quite simply sensational and for wines of this quality are remarkably well-priced!

www.glaetzer.com