The winery was founded by Englishman Dr Christopher Rawson Penfold (1811-1870) and his wife Mary in 1844 near Adelaide in the Barossa Valley (South Australia). This makes it one of the oldest Australian wineries. The doctor had studied medicine in London and was convinced of the positive medical effect of wine. With vines brought from France, he planted the first vineyard in Magill near his stone house known as "The Grange" (small estate). For over a hundred years, they produced mainly sherry and port style fortified wines and brandies, most of which were exported to England. After the death of the founder, his wife Mary took over the running of the business. She was succeeded in 1884 by her daughter Georgina and her husband Thomas Hyland. In 1881, the annual production was already around 500,000 litres.
The family business was converted into a company in 1921. The vineyards were extensively expanded. During the Second World War (1939-1945), the production of fortified wines in the sherry and port styles increased again. After the war, Jeffrey Penfold Hyland took over the management of the company and switched production back to table wines. The family remained at the helm of the company in 1976. In that year Penfolds was taken over by the Tooth & Co brewery, who then sold it to Adelaide Steamship in 1982. They eventually sold all their wineries to the multi Southcorp in 1990. This was then taken over by drinks multinational Foster's in 2005, who in May 2011 spun off all wine activities into a separate company called Treasury Wine Estates, which now includes the former Penfolds...
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