South Australian-based Penfolds, part of the Treasury Wine Estates stable, will also craft champagne in France, with the French bubbles expected to be released next year in time for the brand’s 175th anniversary, as part of a new range called Penfolds Special Bottlings.
Treasury Wine Estates deputy chief marketing officer Angus Lilley said Penfolds winemakers will craft wines consistent with the label’s characteristics and flavour profile using the company’s existing facilities in the Napa Valley, beginning from the California 2018 harvest later this year.
The company is aiming to release the Napa Valley wines by financial year 2022.
“It obviously signals an intent for us to support Penfolds and to invest in Penfolds moving forward,” Lilley said.
“This is the first foray into potentially looking at other regions.”
Chief winemaker Peter Gago said the renowned Penfolds “house style” didn’t preclude the company making wine outside Australia.
“Our Penfolds house style certainly allows and embraces the freedom to explore premium viticultural regions across the world,” he said. “We are striving to add outstanding Californian-sourced wines to our offering by fiscal 2022.”
There has been some connection in the past: cuttings from Penfolds’ Kalimna vineyard in the Barossa Valley were taken to Camatta HIlls vineyards in California in the 1990s.
In September, Penfolds will release a more exotic creation: a fortified wine made from Barossa shiraz and infused with the Chinese alcoholic spirt baijiu – one of the most widely drunk liquors in the world.
“We are really excited to see how consumers throughout the world and in China respond,” Lilley said of the baiju creation.
Penfolds on Tuesday also added a 28-year-old single batch brandy to its range.
Treasury Wine Estates net profit for the six months to December 31, 2017 was up more than 37 per cent to $187 million.
Its full year results are expected to be released on August 16.
– with AAP
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