The winery was founded by the native Englishman Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold (1811-1870) and his wife Mary at Adelaide in 1844 Barossa Valley (South Australia) founded. It is one of the oldest Australian wineries. The doctor had studied medicine in London and was convinced of the positive medicinal effectiveness of wine. With vines brought from France, he planted the first vineyard in Magill near his stone house called "The Grange" (small estate).
For over a century, they mainly produced spirit-rich sherry and port wines and brandies, the majority of which were exported to England. After the founder's death, his wife Mary took over the management of the company. This was replaced in 1884 by her daughter Georgina and her husband Thomas Hyland. In 1881 the annual production was around 500,000 liters.
The family business was transformed into a company in 1921. The vineyards have been extensively expanded. During the Second World War (1939-1945), more and more fortified wines were produced in the style of sherry and port. After the war, Jeffrey Penfold Hyland took over the management of the company and switched production back to table wines. The family remained at the top of the company in 1976. This year Penfolds was taken over by Tooth & Co, which then sold it to Adelaide Steamship in 1982. They eventually sold all of their wineries to the Multi in 1990 South Corp, This was then the beverage multinational in 2005 Foster's who took over all wine activities in a separate company in May 2011 Treasury Wine Estates outsourced, to which the former Penfolds group now belongs.
In addition to the parent company in Magill, a second winery is run in Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley. The grapes are sourced from over 200 contract winemakers with a total area of 500 hectares. These can be found in numerous Australian winegrowing areas such as Barossa Valley. Clare Valley. Coonawarra. McLaren Vale. Hunter Valley and Riverina, 1.5 million bottles of wine are produced annually. The famous wine pioneer Max Schubert (1915-1994) became chief winemaker after the Second World War. He traveled to Spain in 1950 to find out about the Sherry preparation to inform and also visited Bordeaux. From there he took knowledge of new fermentation techniques and barrique expansion back home to implement them there. In 1951 he created the famous "Penfolds Grange". The red wine called "Grange" or "Bin 95" is considered one of the best and most expensive wines in the world and is known as the "Premier Cru of the Southern Hemisphere". Until 1989 it was called "Penfolds Grange Hermitage", the addition was left out due to EU regulations.
It is made up of a high share of over 90% Shiraz from different locations with something Cabernet Sauvignon cuvée advantage. Some vintages are also produced by type (e.g. 1951, 1952, 1963, 1999, 2000 and 2001). The maturation takes 18 months in small American oak barrels, the marketing only after at least three years of bottle aging. At a auction in 2004 in Melbourne, a bottle of the first vintage in 1951 was auctioned for AU $ 52,211 ($ 35,767). Back then, the original 1,800 bottles were not sold, but given away or used as a sample. Today there are only a few of them.
From the beginning of the 1960s, Max Schubert developed a sophisticated system of numbered casks for the description of the wines bins (Bin = container), for the storage / maturation of wines. The Penfolds product range includes the famous Grange and a number of other red wines, such as Bin 707, RWT (Red Winemaking Trial), St. Henri and Magill Estate. The Bin 389 is often referred to as "Baby Grange" because it matures in barrels previously used for the Grange. In 1998 the first white "Grange" was named "Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay " produced. Small quantities of liqueurs are also produced. The winery is one of the few to run a special service Neuverkorkung through, in which the best products or vintages are sensory-checked after at least 25 years, filled up with original wine from this vintage and corked if necessary. This is known as "Penfolds Wine Clinics".
A very special project by Penfolds is "Ampoule", a wine from the "Kalimna" vineyard in the Moppa area of the Barossa Valleys, At the edge of this vineyard is the ten acres (4 ha) "Block 42", which is planted with root-proof Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted in the mid-1880s phylloxera have been spared. The yield of these ancient vines are extremely small. The grapes have an extraordinary aroma and are usually processed in the wine "Bin 707". Only in very special years is a truly exquisite red wine made in the smallest quantities, which has only been done in 1953, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1996 and 2004. From the 2004 vintage, only 12 units were filled in very special containers with a bottle volume of 0.75 liters.
The wine from vines 120 years old at the time is contained in a hand-blown, cylindrical glass vial. This vial is in turn fixed in an elongated, conically shaped glass sculpture in the form of a plumb bob, which is housed in a container made of jarrah wood (one of the finest woods ever). The 12 containers were created by four well-known Australian artists and designers by hand. The production can be seen on YouTube in a video (click to view). In August 2012 such a unit changed hands for an incredible € 160,000. The buyer was a regular guest at the Austrian five-star hotel “Jagdhof” in Neustift (Stubaital, Tyrol). The head sommelier of the house Matthias Tanzer arranged the sale. This extraordinary Kreszenz is one of the absolute most expensive wines in the world,