Peter Gago the newest member of Decanter’s ‘Hall of Fame’

October 6, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Recognised as one of the New World’s foremost winemakers, Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago has been announced as the newest member of Decanter’s ‘Hall of Fame’.

Mr Gago has worked with Penfolds for 19 years and is only the fourth Australian to receive the award: Max Schubert in 1988, Len Evans in 1997 and Brian Croser in 2004.

The Decanter Hall of Fame recognises and awards excellence in the wine world and is one of the world’s most significant and prestigious industry awards.

Mr Gago said, “Whilst personally thrilled and delighted to join this pantheon of illustrious recipients, I’m also humbled and somewhat overwhelmed. To daily engage with this thing called wine is something that has always given me enormous pleasure. How lucky am I?! I’m immensely grateful to all those who have helped me gain the attention of Decanter Magazine. Many thanks.”

Huon Hooke’s article in Decanter Magazine notes that Mr Gago is only the fourth custodian of Penfolds Grange Shiraz in its 70 year history and notes that while Penfolds boasts a team of eight winemakers, Mr Gago is the one with an international profile, describing him as a ‘vinous rock-star’.

Decanter’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Maillard said, “Our Hall of Fame award has recognised many of the wine world’s most eminent figures over the years, and there was no doubt in our jury’s minds that Peter is very much deserving of the honour. His stewardship of Penfolds has seen the company and its wines go from strength to strength. A worthy winner.”

With a natural affinity and passion for winemaking and all things wine, Mr Gago joined the winemaking team at Penfolds in 1989, initially making sparkling wines, before moving on to reds as Penfolds Red Wine Oenologist. In 2002, Mr Gago succeeded John Duval as Penfolds Chief Winemaker. 

Mr Gago has been recognised at the Queen’s Birthday Honours List Awards and in 2017 was appointed a Companion of The Order of Australia (AC). In 2018, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia and was named South Australia’s Great Wine Capitals Ambassador. In 2016, Mr Gago received Bragg Membership of the Royal Institution of Australia. He has co-authored five wine books with Dr Patrick Iland OAM, the most recent titled “Australian Wine – Styles & Tastes, People & Places”. 

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