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Penfolds to release ‘spirited wine’ infused with Baijiu for Asian market

Food & Wine

Australia’s flagship wine brand Penfolds will launch a spirited wine product infused with Baijiu in September.

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The maker of Australia’s most famous premium wine Penfolds Grange has created the premium fortified Barossa Shiraz infused with 6 per cent Baijiu.

Penfolds is part of Treasury Wine Estate and has helped drive the company’s booming exports to China in recent years.

Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago said Penfolds tradition of blending its fortified wines dated back to Dr Christopher Penfold who founded the winery in Adelaide, South Australia in 1844.

Gago said the Lot 518 Spirited Wine also recognised Penfolds strong relationship with its friends in China and the surrounding region.

“When we fortify wines we infuse these beverages with many different things and in this instance we are being very brave, very courageous,” Gago said.

Lot 518 will be available at the cellar door and through Penfolds partner network throughout Asia.

The South Australian winery also today launched two other Special Bottlings – a brandy and a Champagne – at its historic Magill Estate still house in Adelaide.

The first release is Lot. 1990, a pot distilled 28-year-old single batch brandy, which is available from today at the cellar door and through selected global retail outlets. It is the first brandy Penfolds has released since the 1970s and will retail for A$425.

The third Special Bottlings release is a Champagne, which is expected to be released in 2019 to coincide with the winery’s 175th anniversary and will further build on Penfolds credentials as a multi-country sourced brand.

The company also used today’s launch to unveil its plans to produce commercial Napa Valley wines for the first time from Californian grapes harvested in the coming months.

Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago (left) and global ambassador Jamie Sach announce the Special Bottlings in the Penfolds Still House at Magill Estate in South Australia.

The premium Californian offerings are expected to be Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah/Shiraz and will be released globally but not until at least late 2020.

Gago said the wine would pay respect to the Californian terroir but be made in the Penfolds “house style”.

“Being global isn’t just selling wine in 100-plus countries, being global is working there, doing things offshore and broadening that base,” he said.


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