“While personally thrilled and delighted to join this pantheon of illustrious recipients, I’m also humbled and somewhat overwhelmed,” Gago says.
“To daily engage with this thing called wine is something that has always given me enormous pleasure.
“How lucky am I?!
“I’m immensely grateful to all those who have helped me gain the attention of Decanter magazine. Many thanks.”
The Hall of Fame recognises and awards excellence in the wine world and is one of the most significant and prestigious international industry awards.
It is awarded entirely on merit and dates back to 1984 when it was first won by Serge Hochar of Chateau Musar.
Since then, Hall of Fame members and recipients have included Robert Parker, Steven Spurrier, Jancis Robinson OBE MW, Hugh Johnson OBE and Michael Broadbent MW.
“Our Hall of Fame award has recognised many of the wine world’s most eminent figures over the years, and there was no doubt in our jury’s minds that Peter is very much deserving of the honour. His stewardship of Penfolds has seen the company and its wines go from strength to strength. A worthy winner,” says Decanter’s editor-in-chief Chris Maillard.
Gago joined the winemaking team at Penfolds in 1989, initially making sparkling wines, before moving on to reds as Penfolds Red Wine Oenologist.
In 2002, Gago succeeded John Duval as Penfolds chief winemaker, and early next year (2022) he will celebrate his 20th anniversary at the helm of one of Australia’s most renowned wineries.
Recently, Gago received a significant honour at the Queen’s Birthday Honours List Awards, his 2017 appointment as a Companion of The Order of Australia (AC).
In 2018, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia and was named South Australia’s Great Wine Capitals Ambassador.
In 2016 Gago received Bragg Membership of the Royal Institution of Australia.
He has co-authored five wine books with Dr Patrick Iland OAM, the most recent titled Australian Wine – Styles & Tastes, People & Places.
The Decanter 2021 Hall of Fame award also coincides with the 70th anniversary of Penfolds flagship Grange.
In 1988, Penfolds first chief winemaker Max Schubert, the creator of Grange, received the coveted accolade from Decanter.
Peter Gago’s Hall of Fame award will be formally recognised in the October issue of Decanter.
Gago was featured on the cover of the July-August edition of WBM – Australia’s Wine Business Magazine.
Full list of Decanter Magazine Hall of Fame Recipients:
2021 Peter Gago AC, South Australia
2020 Robert M Parker Jr, America
2019 Becky Wasserman-Hone, Burgundy
2018 Eduardo Chadwick, Chile
2017 Steven Spurrier, England
2016 Denis Dubourdieu, France
2015 Alvaro Palacios, Spain
2014 Jean-Pierre & François Perrin, Rhône
2013 Gerard Basset OBE MW MS, England
2012 Paul Symington, Portugal
2011 Giacomo Tachis, Italy
2010 Aubert de Villaine, Burgundy
2009 Nicolás Catena, Argentina
2008 Christian Moueix, Bordeaux
2007 Anthony Barton, Bordeaux
2006 Marcel Guigal, Rhône
2005 Ernst Loosen, Mosel
2004 Brian Croser, Adelaide Hills
2003 Jean-Michel Cazes, Bordeaux
2002 Miguel Torres, Penedès
2001 Jean-Claude Rouzaud, Champagne
2000 Paul Draper, California
1999 Jancis Robinson OBE MW, London
1998 Angelo Gaja, Piedmont
1997 Len Evans OBE AO, Australia
1996 Georg Riedel, Austria
1995 Hugh Johnson OBE, London
1994 May-Eliane de Lencquesaing, Bordeaux
1993 Michael Broadbent MW, London
1992 André Tchelistcheff, California
1991 José Ignacio Domecq, Jerez
1990 Professor Emile Peynaud, Bordeaux
1989 Robert Mondavi, California
1988 Max Schubert, Australia
1987 Alexis Lichine, Bordeaux
1986 Marchese Piero Antinori, Tuscany
1985 Laura & Corinne Mentzelopoulos, Bordeaux
1984 Serge Hochar, Lebanon