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 Latest News - Australian Wines for connoisseurs!

The Peak of luxury

24/04/2013

There are some words that, when spoken, paint a picture of the utmost luxury. Words that immediately conjure images of history, of passion and of consistent excellence. It is impossible to utter or hear Penfolds without letting the mind wander to another time or another place, where one inevitably gets lost in the sheer splendour of the movement. 

 Where it all began...
Penfolds has become synonymous with quality, but let their story be a lesson to all dreamers; you won't get anywhere without hard work, 169 years of hard work to be precice. The Penfolds story began in South Australia with Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold, a 33-year-old British immigrant, and his wife Mary. Christopher and Mary purchased the 500-acre Magill Estate in 1844, where Christopher orginally grew grapes to make a prescribed tonic for his patients' ailments.
Vine cutting which grew into the now iconic Magill Estrate, around a small stone cottage named after Mary's former home, 'The Grange'. It was at this very moment that an incredibly high standard was conceived ,a standard that continues to be set to this very day. 

By all contemoporary accounts it was Mary who managed the fledgling wine estate, taking full resposiblity when Christopher passed away in 1870. By this stage, the Grange vineyard had expanded considerably and the Penfold family had shifted their focus from medicinal tonics to fine table wines. Over 60 acres of the Magill Estate now produced a wealth of grape varieties such as Grenache, Mataro, Frontignac and Verdelho. Mary can be credited for building the Penfolds brand's reputation to its ongoing glory. Mary peacefully passed away in 1896, leaving anewly founded Pendolds and Co. in the hands of her partners: Mary's son-in-law Thomas Hyland and Joseph Gillard, her cellar manager. 

Penfolds signature Grange selection was born decades later in 1951 by chief winemaker Max Schubert AM. Struggling in its early years, Grange finally made an impact when the 1955 vintage was awareded twelve trophies and an overwhelming 51 gold medals from 1962 onwards. Max's good luck continued over the next 22 years, with his Grange varities winning 17 trophies, seven championship awards, 117 gold medals, 63 silver medals and 34 bronze medals.Max left the Penfolds reputation in the capable hands of Don Ditter in 1976. By this stage, Penfolds had blossomed, having bought or planted vineyards in McLaren Vale, Griffith, the Hunter Valley and Minchinbury.

Bin Series:
Penfolds Bin Series was the brainchild of wine visionary Max Schubert, who hoped to create mirror of his legendary Grange. "Not the same, but similar", was his sentiment toward the project. It just so happened that Penfolds had kept a collection of numbered 'bins' in their cellar, containing a selection of fine vintages. Inspired by the system, Max conceived the Bin Series and in 1959, the reowned Bin 28 was released. The series grew into a national and international favourite, its release eagerly anticipated by wine enthusiasts each year.

To celebrate the 2013 Bin Series release, Penfolds has collaborated with internationally acclaimed aritst and photographer, Giles Revell, to create and capture 11 bespoke glass tendrils, reflecting each Bin wine, for a series of images that are in themselves a true expression of mastery. According to Revell, "The Penfolds tendril campain came from a simple idea and a clear vision. Our collaboration realised an intricate series of enduring images, reflecting the unique knowledge, sophistication and craftsmanship of Penfolds".

Influenced by fine art and conceptualism, Revell was moved by the inimitable structure of the fragile stems that support the coveted vines in the Penfolds Vineyards in South Australiaandcollaborated with one of the UK's most celebrated glass blowers to recreate the intricate delicacy ofthe tendrils in the form of glass replicas. The glass tendrils each represent a one of a kind Bin wine. After each tendril was designed and crafted with meticulous detail, Revell took several stunning photographs to capture the precision and inimitable quality of the tendrils

Wine lovers worldwide anticipated the annual release of Penfolds Bin Series with baited breath before its release in March. In 2013, the selection is yet another indication of Penfolds mastery in the winemaking field. The 2013 release spans three vintages, including the highly regarded 2010 vintage, 2011 vintage and the 2012 vintage.

Crafted by Chief Winemaker Peter Gago, Senior Winemakers Steve Lienert and Kym Schroeter, the winemaking team also includes Andrew Baldwin, Adam Clay, Matt Woo and Stephanie Dutton. The 2013 Bin Series release "represents the heart of the Penfolds range", says Peter Gago himself. Beginning with the first experimental bottling of 1951 Bin 1 Grange Hermitage, the Penfolds Bin Series captures the essence of what we're aiming to achieve in terms of quality, philosophy, accessibility and choice", he continued.  

Included in the 2013 release is the 2010 Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz, a cellar-staple for many since its inception in 1960. It is joined in this year's collection by the 2010 releases of Penfolds Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz and Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz- two wines which further showcase the characterisitcs of the acclaimed 2010 vintage.

Drinks Trade Australia