Behind the Label: Blauw by Bart Van Olphen

Published by Tamara Harrison - 28th May 2019

Take a minute to kick back and read the story behind the ‘very Dutch’ label on BVO’s Blauw Shiraz, in the words of the winemaker himself, Bart Van Olphen.

BVO here, just letting you know the 2018 Blauw Shiraz from Heathcote has now hit the warehouse shelves and I can’t wait to get some feedback!

I thought I would use this opportunity to tell a bit more about me and Blauw.

I don’t think this label could be any more Dutch if it tried. Windmills and the blue colour that is so distinctively Dutch, but why?

Well, the Dutch have always been adventurers and thank goodness it has changed a bit from when Delfts blue (the iconic Dutch period blue & white porcelain) was around as I don’t think I would have survived as an adventurer living on a ship for months or years travelling the high seas without wine. I think growing up as a child in Holland you don’t really notice the things around you, things that you take for granted like my grandmas Delfts blue cookie jar or the traditional tea mugs my mum had, and the little blue and white tiles around our fire place. It was all SOOOO DUTCH. 

Now, I love living here in Australia and since having kids here I notice myself thinking about my childhood a lot more and this Dutch history and style we had everywhere around us. So, this wine, my BVO Blauw Shiraz is a bit of a homage from these fond memories of my childhood.

I love Shiraz and one reason is its diversity and its ability to make great wine with a distinct flavour of place at the same time as showing the imprint of the winemaker, and the mark he or she intended to put on it.

In 2017 my imprint in the BVO Blauw Shiraz was light, minimalistic and full of vision. The 2017 vintage was elegant, minimal intervention, and a made with a desire to highlight the attractive, delicate side of Shiraz. It reminds me of my first visit to an Aussie pub many years ago; one day at work I get invited by a fellow winery cellar hand to go and have a beer. As work finished, I raced home to have a shower and put a nice shirt on and some nice pants and some fine shoes, well did I stand out! In the words of my friend ‘Dude, are you going to a wedding?!’ So, 2017 Shiraz is a bit like that, a bit more European than Australian style. 

Now the 2018 BVO Blauw Shiraz has just been rolled out and it’s still an elegant Shiraz but a bit more robust and generous, a style that I know you are going to love. Maybe I am becoming a little bit more Aussie after all?




  • If you enjoyed this read, receive more behind the scenes updates from Bart Van Olphen’s by following his winemaker page
  • Angels, if you have a friend or two who loves wine and supporting Aussie & NZ winemakers as much as you do, send them your unique referral code. They’ll receive $100 off their first case, and you’ll get a $30 Angel credit when they sign up. It’s a win/win!