Penfolds. Meet Extraordinary.

It takes unwavering self-belief to create the extraordinary.

The first bottles of Penfolds came from soil that had never grown grapes and a doctor that had never made wine.

Since 1844 we have pioneered new ways to create the extraordinary. This pioneering spirit and curiosity still rings true after nearly two centuries, it is what has helped us become one of the most celebrated winemakers in the world today.

 

“The sourcing changes but the House Style doesn’t. Everything to do with winemaking between the sun above and the soil below is Penfolds.”

Peter Gago

Penfolds Chief Winemaker

Where to purchase

In the USA, Penfolds wines can be purchased via our official e-retail partner, thewineshop.com and select fine wine retailers. 

View our Store Locator for Stockists in your area.

Shop at thewineshop.com

Our Winemaking History

We are the product of our great winemaking history; of our founders Mary and Christopher Penfold, who boarded a ship to the New-World, dreaming big, to make tonics, brandies and fortified wines.

This vision continued with celebrated winemaking legends, like Alf Vesey, Ray Beckwith and Max Schubert; who pushed liquid development to extraordinary new heights.

1844

From the first vine cutting, our daring spirit has been there. When our founders Mary and Dr Christopher Penfold left England on a journey of exploration and adventure, to discover a new life in Australia.

Penfolds Heritage History 1870

1870

As the winery grew, so too did Dr Penfold’s medical reputation, leaving much of the running of the winery to Mary Penfold. On Christopher’s death in 1870, Mary assumed total responsibility for the winery. Mary’s reign at the helm of Penfolds saw further growth.

1883

Alf Vesey starts at Penfolds and becomes known as our Master Blender. 

He worked for Mary Penfold and trained Max Schubert as is his understudy. Since the early experimental days, all our winemakers have followed in his footsteps to produce the very best blends.

Penfolds Vintage Photograph Bottle Car

1907

By the time Mary Penfold retired in 1884 (ceding management to her daughter, Georgina) Penfolds was producing 1/3 of all South Australia’s wine. She’d set an agenda that continues today, experimenting with new methods in wine production. By 1907, Penfolds had become South Australia’s largest winery.

 

1931

Max Schubert joins Penfolds and learns the art of blending from Alf Vesey.

In Max’s own words “A.E. Vesey, who taught me all he knew about wine blending”.

1935

Ray Beckwith joins Penfolds. His enquiring chemistry pushes liquid development to new heights.

In 1936 he makes the groundbreaking discovery that acidity levels in wine could be a tool to control bacterial spoilage. He is believed to be the first in the world to use pH meters to control bacteria in this way.

1948

In 1948, history was made again as Max Schubert became the company’s first Chief Winemaker. A loyal company man and true innovator, Schubert would propel Penfolds onto the global stage.

Penfolds Heritage Story of Grange

1950

In the latter part of 1950, Schubert was sent to Europe to investigate winemaking practices in Spain & Portugal. On a side trip to Bordeaux, Schubert was inspired and impressed by the French cellared-style wines and dreamed of making ‘something different and lasting’ of his own.

1951

Combining traditional Australian techniques, inspiration from Europe and precision winemaking practices developed at Penfolds, Max Schubert has the vision and craft to create his first experimental Grange.

Penfolds Heritage Story of Grange Winemakers

1957

Max Schubert was asked to show his efforts to top management. To his horror the Grange experiment was universally disliked and Schubert was ordered to shut down the project.

He continues in secret against the orders of directors, hiding three vintages ’57, ’58 and ’59, in depths of the cellars.

Penfolds Max Schubert Grange Bottle

Late 20th Century

In 1960, the Penfolds board instructed Max Schubert to officially re-start production on Grange. His determination and the quality of the aged wine had won them over.

Soon, the medals began flowing and Grange quickly became one of the most revered wines around the world. In 1988 Schubert was named Decanter Magazine’s Man of the Year, and on the 50th anniversary of its birth, Penfolds Grange was given a heritage listing in South Australia.

Today

The Penfolds winemaking team continue to push the boundaries. Always believing great can be greater. 

Our wines are big and bold. Made to be complex, made to be remarkable and made to live long.

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