Our wine-making history dates back to 1844, but it really began with a red sports car in 1945. It was a collision of hearts and minds, a collision that had been 100 years in the making – refined and distilled from two pioneering winemaking families. When Reginald Lester Tolley rolled up to a function in his red sports car, Judith Anne Penfold Hyland was suitably impressed by the car and rather taken by the man behind the wheel. Sparks flew, romance blossomed and Penley was conceived, in 1947 after Reginald and Judith married. However, it wasn’t until 1988 that the Penley name came to life, that it finally bore fruit, so to speak. That’s when we (the children of Reginald and Judith) decided to create our own wines – put our label on tradition. We bought a plot of land in Coonawarra, planted Cabernet grapes and called it Penley Estate. In 1995, we built a winery at Penley Estate – a full on, all the bells and whistles, impress me with your red sports car winery. Our reputation had grown by then, and it made sense to have everything on site. We planted more vineyards, added some Shiraz to the Cabernet, and increased our range of wine, producing classic Coonawarra reds that were full-bodied, to be kept and savoured. As the years rolled on, Coonawarra reds became a bit passe, not the flavour of the month, more of an old Roller than a red sports car. We still made some bloody good wines though! So instead of selling, we decided to revitalise, reinvigorate and refresh the wine – make it true to itself, gossiped about and socially celebrated at any occasion… for everyone to enjoy. Our history is a rich mix of endeavour, passion and vision with a touch of scandal and madness thrown in for good measure. We could write a book about it. Instead, we’ll leave you with the words of our glamorous mother; words that we hope you’ll taste in every bottle of our contemporary Coonawarra wine… “Grow up and be fascinating.”
A modern twist on the Australian classic, sparkling red. An abundance of fruit fills the bouquet, raspberries, strawberries and ripe cherries. The spicy undertones of star anise, liquorice and cinnamon and an extra level of complexity. The palate is generous and flavoursome, bright and fresh. The wine has good persistence and finishes dry.