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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Penfolds Debuts California Collection

Australia's Penfolds is perhaps best known for its iconic Grange bottling, but the iconic winery doesn't stand still. Under the direction of chief winemaker Peter Gago, it continues to release innovative new wines. The latest endeavor has just been unveiled, a lineup of four California-based wines from vineyard holdings in Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles, with prices ranging from $50 to $700. In a twist, two of the bottlings also include a small amount of Australian wine.

"This is not us marching into California to show people how to make wine," Gago told Wine Spectator. "It's made with respect."

Gago adds that this project follows decades of investing in vineyards and building relationships in California, led by senior winemaker Stephanie Dutton and winemaker Andrew Baldwin. In the late 1980s, Penfolds started experimenting with planting vine cuttings from esteemed sites in South Australia, including Kalimna and Magill Estate, in the company's Paso Robles vineyard holdings. Now that Penfolds is a part of the Treasury Wine Estates portfolio, the winemaking team now also has access to prime grapes in Napa and Sonoma owned by sister wineries such as Beringer and Sterling.

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