Our visit to Penfolds Magill Estate culminated in a spectacular private dinner in the Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant that overlooks the Magill Shiraz (Syrah) vineyards, in the middle of which sits the original (1844) Penfolds “cottage”, named “Grange”, that was the residence of the winery’s founder, Christopher Rawson Penfold, an English physician who emigrated to Australia. “The Magill Estate Restaurant combines modern architectural style with the natural attributes of its historic Adelaide foothills location. Here stunning views, contemporary food, and exemplary service are complemented by a cellar boasting the finest collection of [Penfolds] wines dating back to the creation of the first (experimental) Grange in 1951, to complete one of Australia’s finest food and wine experiences.” – Visit Penfolds brochure
Our dinner was hosted by Zoe Warrington, Penfolds Magill Estate Ambassador and a charming and knowledgeable hostess who made our group of about 30 from our ship feel very much at home at the estate. Our beverage manager and award winning sommelier had made prior arrangements for our group to not only take over the restaurant (which is normally open to the public) but also to have a menu that really showcased local ingredients and the talents of the restaurant’s award-winning chef accompanied by some of Penfolds’ iconic wines. This was a holiday season celebration of great food and great wine that none of us will forget!
As noted in our previous blog [“Penfolds Magill Estate, Adelaide, Australia”]: “Penfolds Grange (until the 1989 vintage labeled Penfolds Grange Hermitage) is an Australia wine, made predominantly from the Shiraz (Syrah) grape and usually a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is widely considered one of Australia’s “first growth” and its most collectable wine… Unlike most expensive cult wines rom the Old World which are from single vineyards or even small plots (called blocks) within vineyards, Grange is made from grapes harvested over a wide area. This means that the precise composition of the wine changes from year to year; it is the expertise of the winemakers which purchasers value, rather than the qualities of the specific places where the grapes are grown, or the particular vines. The quantity of Penfolds Grange produced varies from year to year, with 1,800 bottles of the original 1951 vintage produced. Gago states that 7,000 to 9,000 cases are made each vintage as of 2013. Despite the vagaries of grape sourcing and vintage variation due to growing conditions, some believe that there is a consistent and recognisable “Penfolds Grange” style.” – Wikipedia