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In 1844, Dr Christopher Rawson Penfold, his wife Mary and their daughter Georgina arrive in Australia. Paying the princely sum of £1,200 for 500 acres of the best land in Mackgill, they begin cultivating the French vine cuttings that they brought with them, to produce their own medicinal tonic wine.When her husband passes away following a long illness, Mary Penfold takes over the running of the business. With the 60 acres of vines of The Grange Vineyard, as Magill was then known, now producing several varietals, including Grenache, Vedelho, Mataro, Frontignac and Pedro Ximénez.
Mary’s reign at the helm of Penfolds saw 25 years of determination and endeavour. As this was a time when few entertained the idea of a woman’s business capabilities. When Mary died, control of the now flourishing company passes to their daughter Georgina and her husband Thomas Hyland.Following many years of continued growth, in both the production and the reputation of the wines from The Grange Vineyard, Penfolds now accounts for 50 percent of all of the annual wine sales across the whole of Australia.
Penfolds purchases 303 acres of freehold property that includes the Auldana vineyard, where the St. Henri ‘Claret’ had been produced since around 1890. The label would be faithfully revived, 14 years later, by Penfolds winemaker John Davoren.Inspired by the French wines cellared for up to 50 years, Max Schubert’s vision of making ‘something different and lasting’ of his own leads to the very first vintage of Penfolds Grange Hermitage. Its label identifies its maturation area as Bin number 1.
Since then Penfolds has grown. With a huge range of wines, suited to all budgets, there is a Penfolds wine for all.