Established in 1844, iconic Australian wine brand – Penfolds has been knocking at the top post for some time. Its flagship wine, Grange has been regarded as Australia’s icon wine almost since it first appeared in the 1950s. More recently, in the last decade or so, Penfolds has conquered Asian markets. Highlighting its luxury credentials, it has acquired a global reputation in winemaking circles, winning several awards and accolades.
This time round, Penfolds, (part of Treasury Wine Estates, one of the world’s largest wine companies which has sold over 30 million wine cases to date), has been named number one in Drinks International magazine’s annual poll as the “World’s Most Admired Wine Brand 2016″. Penfolds beat Spanish brand, Torres, winner for two years in a row, to second position, with California’s Ridge Vineyards in third place, up four places on last year.
The judging panel, consisting of more than 200 industry experts including Masters of Wine, consultants, winemakers, wine writers, retailers, educators, buyers and analysts, was given a long a list of well-known brands and producers for consideration, but were encouraged to make free choices.
The Panel was asked to judge using the following criteria:
• the wines should be consistent or improving in quality, • they should reflect their region or country of origin • they should respond to the needs and tastes of their target audience • they should be well marketed and packaged • they should have strong appeal to a wide demographic.
According to the London-based trade magazine, Drinks International, this is not a competition to reward the best-selling wines in the market, or those with the most critical acclaim.
“There is no sure-fire way of getting into the top 50 and Penfolds’ ability to appear in all six lists is a testament to its brand identity and ability to not only stay in the Academy’s consciousness, but to push to the forefront of it,” said Holly Motion, the World’s Most Admired Wine Brands editor. “You cannot buy your way into the list or rely on marketing spend to secure a place. Some of the biggest ‘brands’ do not appear.”
“After 172 years in the wine business we’re still hungry, still excited and still eager to make better wine and champion new followers,” he said.
Penfolds has corrected its over- reliance on red wines. Its Yattarna project, started in the 1990s, has led to two white wines joining the Bin range – Bin 311 Chardonnay and Bin 51 Riesling – while a Semillon /Sauvignon Blanc has become part of the Koonunga Hill range.