A Brief History of Penfolds
Friday, November 28, 2014 in News
Penfolds is steeped in a unique culture handed down by generations of winemakers. It all began in 1844 with Dr Christopher and Mary Penfold, who established a vineyard at Magill Estate near Adelaide. There are three historic eras of winemaking; the colonial, the empire, the dynastic periods. The first Penfolds wines, from the 19th century, were made from newly established vineyards around Adelaide and made for the enjoyment and health of South Australia's first settlers. During the empire period (1900-1945), Penfolds expanded its vineyards and became a household name across Australia. It exported table and fortified wines to the British Empire and it's outposts. After a visit to France in 1950 Penfolds chief winemaker Max Schubert dreamed of making wines that would capture the imagination of wine drinkers all over the world. The birth of the iconic Penfolds Grange in 1951 lead to a remarkable dynasty of wines that would bring Penfolds wines worldwide recognition for their signature style, consistency and longevity.
Penfolds "mastercraft" winemaking and superb range of wines have been steadily refined and improved upon with each of Max Schubert's successors. Don Ditter, John Duval and current chief winemaker Peter Gago have been the custodians of a rich wine making tradition that goes back for over 160 years. They have created new wines including Magill Estate Shiraz, Yattarna Chardonnay or Cellar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Historic blends, significant milestones and heritage vineyards have been honoured through special bin releases.
The stories and philosophies behind each label bring an inexhaustible freshness and timeless quality to Penfolds wines. Whether it is Grange, St Henri, Bin 389, Bin 138 or Koonunga Hill each wine represents the accumulation of generations of effort. That is why Penfolds is so special and compelling for wine collectors and drinkers.
Andrew Caillard MW