Penfolds is set to make a California wine, a baijiu-infused Shiraz and a Champagne as part of a plan by owner Treasury Wine Estates to expand the brand.

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Penfolds will begin sourcing grapes in Napa Valley from the 2018 harvest, in order to produce California wines under its brand name, announced Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) today (3 July).

It marks a significant expansion for a wine brand so closely associated with some of the finest Australian wines.

‘We are striving to add outstanding Californian-sourced wines to our offering by fiscal 2022,’ said Penfolds’ chief winemaker, Peter Gago.

TWE cited a precedent for the move in that Shiraz cuttings from the Kalimna vineyard in Barossa – source of Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz – were previously taken to Camatta Hills Vineyards in California’s Paso Robles area in the 1990s.

The new Penfolds California wines will be taken from the ‘best of the best’ Napa Valley grapes, TWE said.

Also as part of the pension expansion plan to ‘enhance the Penfolds global footprint’ will be a range of ‘Penfolds Special bottlings’.

These include:

  • a baijiu-infused, fortified Shiraz known as Lot 518, to be released in September 2018;
  • a 28-year-old brandy, named Lot 1990, available now

Penfolds will also launch a Champagne in 2019, in time for its 175th anniversary.

Gago said of the moves, ‘The Penfolds winemaking team is delighted to engage in a profound expansion of our core range, while preserving Penfolds DNA and at the same time, building upon the creativity, ingenuity and boldness of our winemaking ancestry. This will broaden our base and help future-proof Penfolds.’

TWE’s chief marketing officer, Michelle Terry, said, ‘These extensions will consolidate Penfolds as a luxury brand that transcends beyond its existing sourcing regions and categories; positioning it for its next chapter.’

The news follows the launch of a Penfolds Grange ‘blend of blends’ known as g3 late last year.


See also: An exclusive report on the latest Penfolds Collection