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.
In addition to the parent company in Magill, a second winery in Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley is operated. The grapes are sourced from over 200 contract growers with a total vineyard area of 500 hectares. These are found in numerous Australian wine regions such as Barossa Valley. Clare Valley. Coonawarra. McLaren Vale. Hunter Valley and Riverina, Every year, 1.5 million bottles of wine are produced. The famous wine pioneer Max Schubert (1915-1994) became Chiefwinemaker after the Second World War. He traveled to Spain in 1950 to discuss the Sherry preparation to inform and also visited Bordeaux. From there he took insights into new gardening techniques and barrique removal home to implement there. He created the famous "Penfolds Grange" in 1951. The red wine called "Grange" or "Bin 95" is considered to be one of the best most expensive wines in the world and is referred to as the "Premier Cru of the Southern Hemisphere". Until 1989 he was called "Penfolds Grange Hermitage", the addition was omitted because of EU regulations.
He is from a high mostly over 90% share of Shiraz from different locations with something Cabernet Sauvignon cuvée advantage. Some vintages are also produced by type (eg 1951, 1952, 1963, 1999, 2000 and 2001). The aging takes 18 months in small barrels of American oak, the marketing only after at least three years of bottle aging. At a auction in 2004 in Melbourne, a bottle of the first year 1951 was auctioned for AU $ 52,211 ($ 35,767). The original 1,800 bottles were not sold at the time, but given away or used for a sample. Today there are only a few of them.
Max Schubert developed from the beginning of the 1960s for the designation of the wines a sophisticated system of numbered barrels, so-called bins (Bin = container), for the storage / maturation of wines. Penfolds' product range includes the famous Grange and a number of other reds, such as Bin 707, RWT (Red Winemaking Trial), St. Henri and Magill Estate. The Bin 389 is also often referred to as the "Baby Grange" because it matures in barrels previously used for the Grange. In 1998, the first white "Grange" was named "Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay " produced. Furthermore, small quantities of liqueurs are produced. The winery is one of the few to offer the special service of one Neuverkorkung by, with the best products or vintages after at least 25 years sensory tested, if necessary filled up with original wine of this vintage and re-corked. This is called "Penfolds Wine Clinics".
A very special project of the house Penfolds is "Ampoule", that is a wine from the vineyard "Kalimna" in the Moppa area of the Barossa Valleys, On the edge of this vineyard is the ten acres (4 hectares) "Block 42", planted with mid-1880s planted rootless Cabernet Sauvignon vines, by the phylloxera have been spared. The yield of these ancient vines are extremely low. The grapes have an extraordinary aroma and are usually processed in the wine "Bin 707". Only in very special years, a truly exquisite red wine is pressed in small quantities of it, which has so far been done only in the years 1953, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1996 and 2004. From the 2004 vintage only 12 units in very special containers with the bottle volume of 0.75 liters were filled.
The wine from this time 120-year-old vines is contained in a hand-blown, cylindrical glass vial. This vial, in turn, is fixed in an elongated, conical-shaped glass sculpture in the form of a plumb bob, housed in a container of jarrah wood (one of the finest woods ever). The 12 containers were created by four renowned Australian artists or designers by hand. The production can be viewed on YouTube in a video (click to view). In August 2012, changed such a unit for a whopping € 160,000 the owner. The buyer was a regular guest of the Austrian five-star hotel "Jagdhof" in Neustift (Stubaital, Tyrol). Driven the sale has the head sommelier of the house Matthias Tanzer. This extraordinary Kreszenz is one of the absolute most expensive wines in the world,