Having emigrated from Germany in 1888, the first Glaetzers in Australia were among the earliest recorded viticulturalists in the Barossa and Clare valleys. The current generations, notably patriarch Colin Glaetzer and his son Ben, are still firmly involved in the family wine business.
Under Ben Glaetzer the business has entered a new league, producing an enticing range of high-quality distinctive wines that represent the classic style of Barossa. Ben is rightly considered as one of Australia’s most skilful winemakers. He knows how to get the best from his grapes, which come from some Barossa’s oldest, dry-grown vineyards in the renowned Ebenezer district. Among his notable achievements are Anaperenna, a shiraz-cabernet blend made from very old vines, and the Amon-Ra and Bishop cuvées, harmonious, opulent examples of pure Barossa shiraz. Tellingly, Amon-Ra has become one of Australia’s top fine wines in a very short space of time.
In 2002 Ben Glaetzer set up his own separate company, Heartland Wines, with a group of friends who share a passion for making great wine. Heartland owns its own mature vineyards in the Limestone Coast and Langhorne Creek areas of South Australia and all the grapes come from the company’s own sites. Heartland’s aim is to make affordable wines of authentic regional character, of which Stickleback is a fine example. These are genuinely distinctive wines at relatively modest prices and many members will already be familiar with them.