Next on our tasting agenda, we have Penfolds Wine out of Australia.
History of Penfolds
Penfolds was founded by Dr. Christopher and Mary Penfold, who moved to Australia together in 1844 to seek their fortune. The Penfolds carried vine cuttings with them all the way to Australia and planted them nearly immediately after landing in the new country. In these early days, Penfolds mainly focused on Clarets and Rieslings.
But the doctor’s job often kept him from the winery, and even before his death in 1870, Mary was already taking responsibility for the winery. Eventually, the winery came into possession of the Penfolds’ daughter, Georgina. By then, they were already producing about a third of all the wine in South Australia.
The Grange refers to the area of the winery where wines can be stored safely for an infinite amount of time. The brainchild of Max Schubert, Penfolds’ first official Chief Winemaker in the 1950s, the Penfolds board were initially not big fans of the Grange wines. But their dislike only made Schubert more resourceful and determined. After re-presenting his experiments to the board in 1959, the Penfolds board gave Schubert full control over the Grange.
By then, Penfolds was the largest wine brand in South Australia.
Despite the rough early start, Penfolds and Penfolds Grange have made a name for themselves internationally as well as within Australia. On the Grange’s 50th anniversary in 2001, it was listed as a cultural icon for Australia. The 1990 Grange vintage was Wine Spectator’s Red Wine of the Year in 1995’; the 2008 vintage achieved a perfect 100 score by two of the world’s most influential wine magazines.