Born in Newcastle, England, Peter Gago and his family moved to Australia when he was six, settling in the cosmopolitan city of Melbourne, Victoria. After completing a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne, Peter launched his career as a chemistry and mathematics teacher before succumbing to a long held interest in wine, often referred to as ‘the grip of the grape’ which saw Peter relocate to Adelaide and complete a Bachelor of Applied Science (Oenology) at Roseworthy College.
After graduating as dux, Peter joined the winemaking team at Penfolds in 1989, initially in the craftsmanship of sparkling wines, before moving on to reds where he entered the role of Penfolds Red Wine Oneologist. With a natural affinity and passion for winemaking, Peter quickly became an integral part of the winemaking team and in 2002 he succeeded John Duval as Penfolds Chief Winemaker.
Engaging and energetic, Peter has a dedication that is unsurpassed. He spends the first, and most important, half of the year labouring from winery to vineyard, ensuring that Penfolds viticultural practices are world-class, and understanding the nuances of each vineyard and region. Post vintage, he enthusiastically embarks on his other role as an ambassador and natural educator. As only the fourth custodian of Grange, Peter is in high demand internationally and he relishes bringing Penfolds wines to the world. The exposure keeps him sharp, enthused and well-versed in world wine styles.
Together with his fellow winemakers, Peter’s careful custodianship has ensured that Grange, and the other ‘older’ members of the Penfolds family, have continued to set the benchmark for their style and quality, while new additions to the range push the boundaries ever wider. Celebrated by the wine fraternity for shining a spotlight on the successes of Australian wine, in 2012 Peter received the ‘Winemaker’s Winemaker’ award, presented by the Institute of the Masters of Wine and UK industry publication -The Drinks Business.