John Duval grew up on a mixed farm at Morphett Vale near Adelaide. His family were longstanding Penfolds growers. In fact, Shiraz cuttings from the Duval’s vineyard were used to plant blocks at Penfolds Magill Estate Vineyard.
After completing an Agricultural Science degree at Adelaide University and a postgraduate diploma in Oenology at Roseworthy College, Duval joined Penfolds in 1974. As an Assistant Winemaker he gained early experience working under managers John Davoren and Kevin Schroeter.
In 1989, John was named International Winemaker of the Year at the UK’s 1989 International Wine & Spirit Competition. In 1991, and again in 2000, he was named Red Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in London.
John Duval oversaw many developments at Penfolds including the creation of Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon, Bin 138 Barossa Valley Shiraz-Grenache-Mourvèdre and RWT Shiraz. The White Grange project, which would culminate in the release of the much vaunted Yattarna Chardonnay, also led to the spin-off Reserve Bin A Chardonnay.
In 2002, John stepped down as Chief Winemaker, after a 28-year distinguished career at Penfolds. He has since built up an international winemaking consultancy business and makes his own wine.