Our California journey started decades ago in the Camatta Hills vineyard, Paso Robles. In the 1980’s, we initiated an ambitious viticultural program in Australia called ‘Heritage Selections’. From our most prized vineyards, winemakers sought to identify single vineyards, blocks and vines that produced the best quality fruit. Cuttings from these exceptional Heritage Selections were then propagated and eventually sent across the world to California.
Excellent winter rainfall ensured the soil was fully saturated at the beginning of the growing season. Spring was cooler and wetter than recent years, resulting in a two-week delay to budburst and flowering. May rainfall was especially helpful in maintaining the soil moisture profile. Warm summer weather had the vines moving along well making up for the slow start to the season. August was characterised by warm days and cool nights, optimal conditions for veraison. Harvest across the region was one to two weeks later than usual with yields close to long-term average. A good vintage for cabernet sauvignon, with grapes showing bright acidity, powdery tannins, and strong varietal flavours.
Peter joined the winemaking team in 1989, initially in the craftsmanship of sparkling wines, before moving on to reds as Penfolds Red Wine Maker. In 2002 Peter became the fourth ever Chief Winemaker for Penfolds. Together with his fellow winemakers, Peter’s careful custodianship has ensured that Grange and the other ‘older’ members of the Penfolds family, have continued to set the benchmark for their style and quality, while new additions to the range push the boundaries ever wider.
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