Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Penfolds Re-corking Clinic?

Since 1991 Penfolds have hosted the ultimate after-sales service: our complimentary red wine Re-corking Clinics. The Clinics offer owners of Penfolds wines, which are 15 years and older, the opportunity to have their wines assessed by a winemaker and if necessary, opened, tasted, topped up and re-capsuled on the spot. Since their inception, the Penfolds winemaking team have assessed over 130,000 bottles at clinics held around the world.

Is there a cost to attend a Re-corking Clinic?

No, the clinics are complimentary.

When should I bring my wines in for assessment at a Re-corking clinic?

Red wines are eligible for re-corking once they are aged 15 years or older, however we only re-cork a bottle once, so it is recommended customers wait until re-corking is necessary before attending a clinic. Relatively young bottles (aged between 15-25 years) with a good ullage (fill height) and closure usually don't require re-corking. However, if the ullage level has fallen or if the bottle is leaking, it could indicate that the cork has been put under stress and re-corking may be necessary. Cellaring conditions also play an important role. If the wine has been well cellared, with a known storage history then re-corking may not be required. Please click here for more information on ideal cellaring conditions.

Can I bring extra bottles?

The Re-corking Clinics are very busy and appointment times with a winemaker are made according to the number of bottles registered. With this in mind, it is unlikely they will have time to see to any unregistered bottles and we ask these are instead reserved for a future clinic.

How long does it take to re-cork a bottle of wine?

For one or two bottles we normally allow approximately 15 minutes for you to meet with one of our winemakers, discuss the bottles and go through the complete re-corking process. If the clinic is very busy it may take a little longer. For customers with larger consignments we will allocate more time as required.

How many times can I re-cork a bottle?

Penfolds wines can only be re-corked once. We recommend that you don't bring the wine to a Re-corking Clinic until the ullage level has fallen, or assessment is required. See: When should I bring my wines in for assessment at a Re-corking clinic?

What can I expect on the day?

A visit to the Penfolds Re-corking Clinic, is not dissimilar to a doctor’s appointment – a health check for your wines in the truest sense.

- You will be greeted on arrival by a Penfolds concierge who will check your registration details and show you to our waiting area. Once a winemaker becomes available the concierge will take you into the Re-corking Clinic room and you will commence the initial wine assessments. If a decision is made to re-cork the bottle, the cork is removed very carefully by the Penfolds team. Upon removal nitrogen gas, an inert gas, is put into the top of the bottle instantly and a temporary cork fitted during the assessment process, to prevent against oxygen entering the bottle.

- The wine is then looked at by a winemaker in conjunction with the owner and assessed on a number of different factors, ultimately deciding whether the wine is certifiable or not. The ultimate Penfolds form guide, The Rewards of Patience is often used to guide this decision of when the optimal drinking windows are for particular varietals. Using a combination of this information, looking at the bottle, the wine itself and the context a recommendation is given.

- If the bottle is acceptable, that is the wine can be certified, the bottle is topped with a current vintage of the same wine before certification is complete. The wine is then re-corked via specialist equipment akin to what is used on our professional bottling line before being wrapped and prepared for you to take away.

- If after assessment the wine is deemed not to be of a certifiable level, a white dot is placed onto the bottle as a notification. In most of these instances we recommend that the wine be consumed within a day, week or a few months. A plain cork will then be placed into the bottle with the appropriate recommendation.

Is there a limit to the number of bottles I can register?

In theory no, but it will depend on how busy the respective clinic is. We may need to restrict bottle numbers in some instances.

What do I need to bring with me on the day?

Simply bring yourself and your wine(s).

What is the vintage year of my bottle?

Penfolds bottles may show both the vintage year, the year your wine was produced, and the year that the wine was bottled. For re-corking purposes we require your bottles vintage year which is found on the left hand side of the label.

What do I do if I need to change or I am unable to attend my appointment?

Please contact our consumer relations team, who will be able to assist. 

How can I obtain the value of my wine?

As well as a wine health check, Penfolds Re-corking Clinics provide an opportunity for attendees to get a market appraisal of their wines from leading fine wine auction house, Langtons. We will have the Langtons auction team at the clinic who can appraise your wine and give you a valuation based on current auction realisations. If you are interested in selling your wine, please inform the Penfolds team at your respective clinic, or upon registration.

Can I change my mind on the day if I don’t want to have my wine opened?

Absolutely. However, we do ask that you read and accept the complete terms and conditions upon registration, which details all elements related to the clinic process.