You are in site section: Online features

Penfolds Grange

Defining Moments in Australian History

WARNING: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Penfolds Grange, 1951

Winemaker Max Schubert made the first experimental vintage of Penfolds Grange in 1951, using techniques from Bordeaux, France. Grange is a red wine produced from shiraz grapes, with a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Penfolds Grange
Bottle of Penfolds Grange. Photo: Will Keightley via Wikimedia Commons

In 1957, Penfolds executives ordered a stop to the production of Grange after tasting the wine and unanimously disliking it. However, Schubert used the distance between management in Sydney and the vineyards in South Australia to his advantage, continuing to manufacture hidden vintages between 1957 and 1959.

In 1960, executives decided to ‘recommence’ the Grange vintages after further aging and tasting, unaware that Schubert had never really stopped making the wine. Today there is an unbroken line of vintages from its first creation.

Grange is the only wine to have been heritage-listed by the South Australian National Trust. The wine has won many awards, including several perfect 100 tasting scores, and is highly collectible. In 2004, a bottle of 1951 Grange sold at auction for just over $50000.

< Previous Next >
1927: First packet of Aeroplane Jelly
Early 1900s: The Lamington created
1964: Arnott’s first produces Tim Tams
1629: Dutch vessel Batavia wrecks off western Australia resulting in mass murder and the marooning of two men on the mainland
1935: Cane toads introduced into Australia to control pest beetles in Queensland’s sugar cane crops
1943: First women elected to Australian Parliament