Penfolds vineyards have been crafting wines for over 170 years, based in some of the most celebrated viticultural regions of South Australia. They have owned and leased vineyards since their start, as well as sourcing grapes for their wines from a variety of independent growers. Their multi-vineyard and multi-regional grape sourcing tradition was introduced in the 1860's by Mary Penfold. It allows them to provide the consistency of style and quality that is expected of Penfolds across their vintages.
Peter Gago, chief winemaker, joined the team in 1989 following his graduation as dux from his Bachelor of Applied Science (Oenology) course at Roseworthy College, Adelaide. Initially crafting sparkling wines, he moved onto making reds, at which point he took on the role of Penfolds' Red Wine Oenologist. With his natural understanding and passion for winemaking, Peter soon became an integral part of the team, becoming Penfolds' Chief Winemaker in 2002. In 2012, Peter was presented with the 'Winemark's Winemaker' award by the Institute of the Masters of Wine and the UK publication, The Drinks Business. His work is often celebrated for shedding light on the successes of Australian wines.
Sourcing the grapes they use from over 220 vineyards and growers across Australia, the key viticultural regions they utilise include Adelaide, the Barossa Valley, the Clare Valley, Coonawarra, Limestone Coast and McLaren Vale. Though, the fruit for their white wines are often sourced from the cooler climates of Tumbarumba in New South Wales, Henty in Southern Victoria and Tasmania. Sustainability, consistency in quality and fruit sourcing are key elements for Penfolds' viticulture.
The early settlers of the Barossa Valley planted extensive amounts of Shiraz, Mataro (Mourvèdre) and Grenache vines. In the 1950s, Penfolds began to experiment with these grapes, creating table wine blends of Shiraz and the robust Mataro grape. They introduced the 1992 vintage of the Old Vine Barossa Valley Shiraz Grenache Mataro in response to an increasing international market for highly perfumed wines of Southern Rhone.
The Penfolds Bin 138 Shiraz Grenache Mataro was elevated to the Bin range with the 1998 Bn 138. Made with grapes sourced from old, low-yielding Barossa Valley vines. This is one of the few wines they produce that remains in component form during older, oak maturation and it is not blended until just prior to the bottling process.