Australian Winery Launches New Members-Only Concierge Service

NEW YORK, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ — Penfolds, the leading Australian winemaker, announces PenfoldsVIP.com, a wine club that takes a different approach to wine culture.

Officially launching October 1st, 2006, PenfoldsVIP.com will offer wine enthusiasts the opportunity to have exclusive annual membership to Penfolds Grange VIP — a full personal concierge service — and access to the brands intimate four-city tour of evenings with contemporary wine raconteurs.

“We’ve created PenfoldsVIP.com because wine culture is about so much more than wine — the concierge service and our new events are testament to this. We are raising the bar on typical wine clubs,” said Peter Gago, Chief Winemaker, Penfolds and Wine Enthusiast’s 2005 Winemaker of the Year.

Named after Australia’s most prestigious wine, Penfolds Grange VIP is a new 24 hours a day, seven days a week service that aims to cater to members’ every whim. The service is like having your own personal assistant with impeccable connections around the globe. Celebrities and power brokers alike use concierge services to meet their every need allowing time to enjoy the finer things in life. Whether it’s house cleaning or dog walking, impossible to get restaurant reservations, chartering a yacht or tracking down a hard to find wine, no request is too small or too obscure.

For more information on how to apply for a free one-year membership to Penfolds Grange VIP, vinophiles can log on to PenfoldsVIP.com. Like any good vintage, Mother Nature will play a hand in who gets in to Penfolds Grange VIP as members are selected at random. Applications for membership will be accepted from October 1st – December 1st 2006. Successful applicants will be notified in writing.

To kick off the four-city tour, oenophile and author Jay McInerney talks with Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago in New York on Thursday October 12, 2006. For the first time, Gago will share excerpts from personal diaries of his worldwide adventures as Penfolds winemaker, from the many famous wine fans he meets such actor Leonardo DiCaprio, to sharing wine jokes with political dignitaries, and his friendship with Tool and A Perfect Circle (APC) lead singer and wine collector Maynard James Keenan. Gago’s style to making and talking about wine is unconventional, approachable, informal and sociable, and for the lucky few, he’ll be uncorking a bottle of Penfolds Grange, Australia’s most prestigious wine.

Log on to PenfoldsVIP.com to view a broadcast of this special event on Monday, October 16, 2006 and to find out about upcoming events in the series.

About Penfolds

Penfolds, Australia’s most esteemed winery, consistently wins medals and garners high ratings and accolades both in Australia and abroad. Penfolds has multiple ranges of wines available in the Americas, delivering greatness at a variety of price points. Penfolds also makes ultra-premium wines including the iconic Penfolds Grange, overseen by Chief Winemaker Peter Gago. The 2001 vintage of Penfolds Grange was released in May 2006 and is available at top restaurants and selected fine wine stores nationwide. For more information, go to www.penfoldsvip.com

Peter Gago

Peter Gago is the Chief Winemaker of Penfolds. He joined the company in 1989 and started his tenure making sparkling wine, then reds, and served as Penfolds Red Wine Oenologist before being appointed Penfolds Chief Winemaker, in July 2002. Peter took over the mantle from his long-time friend and colleague, John Duval, making him the fourth winemaker to be responsible for Penfolds’ icon wine, Grange.

Gago has also co-authored three books with Dr. Patrick Iland: “Discovering Australian Wine – A Taster’s Guide” 1995, “Australian Wine – From the Vine to the Glass” 1997 and “Australian Wines – Tastes and Styles” 2003.

Gago travels extensively, visiting every continent to introduce people to Penfolds and share his love of wine through tastings, master classes and re-corking clinics — a unique service created by Penfolds to preserve the life of their collectable wines.

Jay McInerney

McInerney is the author of seven novels, including Bright Lights, Big City, his best-selling 1984 debut that was cited by Time Magazine in 2006 as one of nine generation-defining novels of the twentieth century. McInerney has written a number of novels since then, including his most recent, The Good Life. He is an accomplished magazine and newspaper columnist and has been writing a monthly wine column for House and Garden since 1996. Many of his columns were collected for his book Bacchus and Me: Adventures in the Wine Cellar, and a second book on wine, A Hedonist in the Cellar, is due in October. This year McInerney won the James Beard MFK Fisher Award for Distinguished Writing.

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