Penfolds was founded by a young English doctor who migrated to one of his country's most distant colonies over a century and a half ago. Dr Christopher Rawson Penfold was born in 1811, the youngest of 11 children. He studied medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, graduating in 1838.
In 1844 Dr Penfold and his wife Mary purchased the Mackgill estate, “comprising 500 acres of the choicest land.” By all accounts it was Mary Penfold who was responsible for the management and early winemaking responsibilities of the fledgling wine estate. Initially the wines - made from grenache – were prescribed as tonic wines for anaemic patients and the famous Penfolds slogan ‘1844 to evermore’ harks back to its origins as a prescribed tonic.
The 1990s was a period of intense winemaking trials. The ‘White Grange’ project saw the release of Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay. The barrage of media attention was extraordinary, illustrating Australia’s national interest in the Penfolds brand. Red wine trials resulted in the release of Penfolds’ first Barossa shiraz, RWT (Red Winemaking Trial).
In 2002 veteran oenologist Peter Gago became Chief Winemaker and since that time Penfolds has reached into every major wine market in the world. The strength of Penfolds is that the wine comes first. Penfolds’ range of table wines is utterly Australian, evoking a generosity of spirit and the beauty of the Australian landscape