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Penfolds celebrates 175 years with limited edition champagne

Penfolds x Thienot ChampagneAustralian liquor giant Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is celebrating its 175th anniversary in Australia this year, and is marking the occasion with the release of a limited edition 2012 Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée in June, created as part of a collaboration with family -owned wine company Champagne House Thiénot.

According to Penfolds, the limited edition champagne is iconic of their French and Australian wine partnership. The 2012 Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée will be the first to be released in a range of wines by Penfolds parent company TWE.

“Whilst the singularly expressive and acutely defined siblings, 2012 Blanc de Noirs and 2012 Blanc de Blancs, play their role in this trio’s inaugural release, this cuvée synergistically creates its own stage, commanding its own space,” said Peter Gago, Penfolds chief winemaker, continuing that he believes time will be kind of this wine. 

Penfolds dates back to 1844. Its parent company TWE has the well-known wine brands Wolf Blass, Wynns and Rawsons Retreat under its belt that are internationally known.

“We have re-ignited our love affair with France, a special place for Penfolds, where our winemaker Max Schubert was inspired to create Grange. Partnered with Thiénot, a respected player in the world of Champagne, we instigated hands-on involvement throughout the tirage storage to create this extraordinary 2012 Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée,” said TWE.

Treasury Wine Estates chief executive Michael Clarke. Photo Source: Jesse Marlow/ The Sydney Morning Herald
Treasury Wine Estates chief executive Michael Clarke. Photo Source: Jesse Marlow / The Sydney Morning Herald

Winning the copycat Penfolds case

On Monday, TWE has won its lawsuit against an imitation wine brand, Ben Fu, which is sold in China. The wine giant sued an Australian company Rush Rich in February, and Australia’s Federal Court ordered Rush Rich to cease and pay just over $375,000 in compensation.

“This positive outcome affirms TWE’s leadership in protecting its IP rights against copycat and counterfeit operators. The company continues to invest strongly in this area through a dedicated brand protection team… and works closely with local authorities in Australia and China and partners to enforce against bad faith operators,” TWE said.

Treasury Wine Estates’ wine range international expansion

TWE’s deputy chief marketing officer Angus Lilley dismissed the idea that the wine business’ expansion would see it veer away from keeping in touch from its South Australian roots. Instead, he said the champagne launch would further enhance the Penfolds reputation for luxury wines, according to the AFR

TWE has already started with Penfolds red wines using grapes from California’s Napa Valley as it prepares for its release in 2022. A Penfolds brandy is also set to step into the liquor market. Currently, the wine giant is selling Lot 518, a shiraz infused with a staple alcohol called Baijiu, in China. 

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