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Winemaker recognised with prestigious science award


A PROMINENT South Australian winemaker has been recognised as a leader in science for his contributions to oenology.

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The Royal Institution of Australia today awarded Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago a prestigious Bragg Membership for his contributions to the science of winemaking.

The award is named after the South Australian scientists Sir William Henry Bragg and Sir William Lawrence Bragg, a father and son team who won the Nobel Prize in 1915 for establishing X-ray crystallography, a scientific technique still widely used today.

Peter Gago said he was “shocked, delighted and humbled” to be made an Honorary Bragg Member, the highest category of membership awarded by The Royal Institution of Australia.

“I am delighted as I am honoured to represent the pursuits of the many practitioners of the ancient discipline of oenology, humbled at joining eminent and world-renowned scientists and shocked to have been chosen on the right side of 60,” he said.

Gago joins just 31 other scientists as a member and was inducted along with paleontologist Professor Michael Archer AM, marine biologist Professor Terry Hughes and biochemist Adjunct Professor Zee Upton.

The Royal Institution of Australia Chairman Peter Yates AM said celebrating the achievements of great scientists was an important part of Australia’s development as an innovative nation.

“By acknowledging and honouring our industry leaders we hope to inspire the next generation of scientists and STEM graduates who will play a critical role in building Australia’s future,” he said.

Penfolds is based in South Australia – Australia’s premier wine state – and produces Grange, one of the nation’s most celebrated wines.

Peter Gago has been the chief winemaker of Penfolds since 2002, only the fourth since Max Schubert was first appointed in 1948.

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