Off the Vine

Season 1 Episode 9

Penfolds Vineyard

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Penfolds Vineyard
The story of Penfolds began more than 150 years ago with Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold and his wife Mary who emigrated from England. On arrival in 1844 they settled at Magill in the Adelaide foothills. In addition to running a medical practice the Doctor and his wife had plans to farm the land. They built a cottage that they called the Grange, and around it they planted some vines with the intention of making fortified wines for medicinal purposes and for their own personal use... Little did they know they would establish Australia's most famous winery. That was the birth of Magill Estate where Grange would be created just over a hundred years later. Throughout the next century the family business flourished and it soon accounted for 1 in every 2 bottles of wine sold in Australia. By the middle of the 20th century wine tastes in Australia were changing, and there was a preference for table wines. Penfolds looked to their chief winemaker to lead the way. In 1950 they sent Max Schubert to Europe on a study tour and it was during his visit to Bordeaux that Max conceived the idea of Grange. The first commercial Grange was the 1952 vintage, released in 1955. On their release, the first Granges were almost universally condemned. In late 1956 Max was ordered to stop making Grange. With the support of Jeffrey Penfold Hyland, Max continued to make it in secret. By 1960 some positive feedback about the early vintages began to filter back to the family and Max was officially asked to start making Grange again. So began the meteoric rise of Penfolds Grange. The philosophy and approach to making Grange has permeated through the hierarchy of wines. The following of a style means for example a Bin 389 from 1998 is of a similar style to one made in the 60's. The pursuit of excellence founded on the best from the past ensures Penfolds wines remain consistent and exceptional.moreless
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