For those of you who have been to our cellar door, you may have noticed a wall that is filled with photos of groups of people holding magnums of one of Australia’s most famous (and expensive) wines, Penfold’s Grange.
We like to call this section “Don’s Grange Wall”. This is because each of the photos represent a vintage where Shiraz that Don has grown on the Oliver’s Taranga Vineyard has made its way into this most famous and prestigious wine.
I have copied a few of the pictures for you to see: 1996, 2005 and 2009. Arguably, growing fruit for Penfolds Grange is the pinnacle of achievement for Shiraz growers in Australia. Known as the Grange Growers Club, it is often a very small group, and generally dominated by growers from the Barossa wine region.
Just being in the club does not automatically mean that your fruit will make it into the blend every year, so we are constantly striving to ensure our quality is paramount.
Growing Shiraz for this wine brings along with it some perks, a magnum of the current release Grange (Don only recently opened a 1997 Penfolds Grange magnum for his 60th birthday – see Blog 118), and a very nice lunch at the award winning Magill Estate Restaurant (http://www.penfolds.com.au/brand_penfolds/dining/magill-estate-restaurant/index.htm). This lunch is pretty much the highlight of Don’s year and he makes us all jealous by bringing home the menu and telling us all about the great wines he has tasted.
Don’s father, HJ, started growing grapes for Wynns in the early 1970’s, who purchased Penfolds in the 80’s and we have remained growers until this day, through many a takeover!
We also work with Penfolds’ Chief Winemaker, Peter Gago to grow Tempranillo grapes for the fabulous Penfolds Cellar Reserve Tempranillo (http://www.penfolds.com.au/brand_penfolds/wines/cellar-reserve/tempranillo/). This wine is made entirely from our grapes (single vineyard wine) and is only available from the Penfolds Cellar Door, I recommend you check it out if you get the chance.
We are very proud of our association with the Penfolds team and look forward to supplying high quality grapes into the future. Don often says that working with Penfolds to reach lofty quality heights, helps drive the whole vineyard forward in terms of quality. We are also glad that we are able to represent McLaren Vale in this famous wine.
p.s. Just in case you were wondering, yes, our Shiraz was in the 2010 Penfolds Grange, but we won’t know about the 2011 for another couple of months. Keep your fingers crossed for us!