The winery was founded by the native Englishman dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold (1811-1870) and his wife Mary in Adelaide in 1844 Barossa Valley (South Australia). It is one of the oldest Australian wineries. The doctor had studied medicine in London and was convinced of the positive medical efficacy of wine. He planted vineyards from France with his first vineyard near Magill, near his "The Grange" stone house.
For over a hundred years, mainly fortified wines were produced in sherry and port wine and brandies, most of which were exported to England. After the founder's death, his wife Mary took over the management of the business. This was replaced in 1884 by her daughter Georgina and her husband Thomas Hyland. In 1881, the annual production already covered around 500,000 liters.
The family business was converted in 1921 into a society. The vineyards were extended extensively. During the Second World War (1939-1945) were again increasingly produced wines in sherry and Port wine style. After the war, Jeffrey Penfold Hyland took over the management of the company and put the production back on table wines. The family remained at the helm of the company in 1976. This year, Penfolds was acquired by the Tooth & Co brewery, who then sold it to Adelaide Steamship in 1982. These finally sold all their wineries in 1990 to the multi South Corp, This was then in 2005 from the drinks multi Foster's In May 2011, all of the wine activities in its own company called Treasury Wine Estates outsourced, which now includes the former Penfolds group.