PENFOLD'S chief winemaker and the custodian of Australia's most famous wine, Grange, has been named as the world's greatest winemaker.
At the Prowein wine fair, the industry's biggest global trade event, Peter Gago was named 'Winemaker's Winemaker of the Year' by a panel of international winemakers, the Institute of Masters of Wine and UK magazine The Drinks Business.
The award, presented at a gala dinner in Dusseldorf, is made to honour winemakers respected and admired by their peer group for their global achievements in fine wine.
Mr Gago, who this year marked his tenth vintage as chief winemaker at Penfold's, described himself as "naturally chuffed and thankful," and said the award highlighted international recognition of the quality of Australian winemaking.
Lynne Sherriff from the Institute of Masters of Wine said Mr Gago continually managed to take the iconic Penfold's brand to new heights.
"He seems to constantly innovate, care-take and raise the bar of one of the world's most appreciated and valued wine labels," she said.
Penfold's, owned by Treasury Wine Estates, was in October named one of the top 100 wineries in the world by influential US industry magazine Wine and Spirits, the 21st consecutive year in which it has made the list.
Treasury chief David Dearie has said the company will focus its expansion efforts on high-end wines, where an excess of demand is driving increased sales and boosting margins.
Penfold's will release the 2007 vintage of Grange along with other 'luxury and icon' wines including Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon on May 1.
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