Very few winemakers have the kind of gig that Peter Gago has – global ambassador for 177-year-old company Penfolds, the source of Australia’s most famous wine, Grange. Penfolds has been rated at various times as either the world’s most successful wine brand or at least one of the top 10, and Gago heads a winemaking team that is charged with producing wines increasingly in the realm of luxury goods.
Peter Gago is the fourth Australian to receive the Decanter Hall of Fame award, after Max Schubert in 1988, Len Evans in 1997 and Brian Croser in 2004. That two of the four are winemakers for the same producer, Penfolds, is unique in the Hall of Fame.
Gago has been chief winemaker at Penfolds for 19 years, having taken over from John Duval in 2002. As such he is only the fourth person to have the responsibility for Australia’s most famous wine, Penfolds Grange Shiraz, in the 70 years since it was created in 1951 by Max Schubert.
Scroll down to see Peter Gago’s five life-changing bottles
Although the Penfolds winemaking team is much more than Gago (there are eight other winemakers today, plus two for the fortified wines), he is the one with the profile. He is internationally famous, a vinous rock-star. Winemaking in any large company is a team effort, but the example set by the leader of that team is of utmost importance.