“When it comes to the greats of Australian wine, one name stands above all â€” Penfolds Grange. And one contemporary winemaker is synonymous with that icon â€” Peter Gago,” writes The Advertiser.Â
For the first time a member of the Australian wine industry â€“ Peter Gago, chief winemaker of Penfolds Grange â€“ hasÂ been recognisedÂ in the Queen’s Birthday Honours inÂ 2017. Gago is the only South Australian among 15 people who achieved the highest honour of Companion to the Order of Australia (AC).
British born, Gago came to Australia as a child. He trained as a chemistryÂ and maths teacher before movingÂ to wine and re-training at Adelaideâ€™s Roseworth College with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Oenology.
The citation highlights his â€œeminent service to the Australian wine industry as an internationally acclaimed winemaker, to the global promotion of excellence in oenology, marketing and research, as a mentor, and to the community of South Australiaâ€.
Gago has been the recipient of numerousÂ awards in his long career. This one is specialÂ and he is particularly proud of the honour because it places wine on parÂ with theatre and the arts, the judiciary, the military and culture in general.
â€œThey say wine is the new language of business,”Gago remarked. “itâ€™s the new gold, itâ€™s soft diplomacy that speaks of a rich culture.
“When you put it all together there is a cultural impact, and a realisation that we do wonderful things along with the sports and the arts â€” itâ€™s got to mean something.â€
GagoÂ joined Penfolds in 1989 in the sparkling wine department, before taking on the role of Penfolds Red Wine Oenologist. In 2002 he succeeded John Duval as Penfolds Chief Winemaker.