Penfolds was founded in 1844, and since then has passed through the hands of several generations of visionaries and innovators, going on to become one of Australia’s most famed and respected wineries.
By 1907, Penfolds had become South Australia’s largest winery. It was propelled onto the global stage with the creation of Penfolds Grange in the 1950s by the company’s first chief winemaker, Max Schubert. Schubert began experimenting with long-lasting wines and it was during this time that the tradition of ‘bin wines’ began, named after the storage area of the cellars where they were aged.
“All winemakers should possess a good fertile imagination if they are to be successful in their craft.” - Max Schubert
Following a trip to Europe in the 1950s, Schubert was inspired and impressed by the French cellared-style wines in Bordeaux and was determined to create something similar back in Australia. His first efforts of an aged Shiraz, the first ever Grange, were universally snubbed by management and he was told to shut down the project. Schubert continued to make Grange vintages in secret. These were eventually recognised by the Penfolds board who ordered production to restart. From the 1960 vintage onwards Grange went on to receive international acknowledgement and awards. On its 50th birthday in 2001, Grange was listed as a South Australian heritage icon and is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine.
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