Our Founders

From a soil that had never grown grapes and winemakers that had never made wine, came the very first bottles of Penfolds.

We are borne from pioneers who had curiosity and just 'had a go'. In 1844 Dr Christopher and Mary Penfold arrived in the new world onboard the Taglioni with a vine cutting and a bold vision.

The family purchased 500 acres of ‘the choicest land’ in early colonial South Australia and set about inventing tonics, brandies, and fortified wines made from grapes and Australian sunshine.

From unknown soils in a faraway land, a world class winery grew. 

The Noble Explorer

Dr Christopher Penfold

Christopher Rawson Penfold began it all. A doctor, with an eye for medicinal winemaking, he and his wife, Mary sought a new life in Australia.  One filled with hope and prosperity. 

They found it in Magill Estate, near Adelaide. Here, Christopher planted vines and set in motion philosophies that remain with us to this day.

The Commander in Chief

Mary Penfold

As with the time, Christopher was seen at the forefront of the winery. However, behind every great man is a great woman. Mary Penfold is the unsung chief of Penfolds with many of experimentations, growth and winemaking philosophies originating from her. 

Everything she knew about wine, she taught herself – insisting on having the grapes blended to her own taste. A woman standing confidently at the helm of a thriving business in the 1800s was unheard of. She’d command from a white mare, watching over the vineyard with her treasured spyglass close at hand.