Penfolds was founded by an English doctor (Dr Christopher Rawson Penfold), who migrated to South Australia in the mid-19th Century. Penfold had a firm belief in the medicinal value of port and sherry and began making fortified wine for his parents, and then for the wider market.
This estate ethos continued until the 1950s when Jeffrey Penfold tasked winemaker Max Schubert to cater for changing consumer tastes. Almost single-handedly Schubert (who died in 1994) lifted Australia's wine industry out of mediocrity, primarily through the revolutionary Grange Hermitage, and has arguably been the most influential figure in the modern Australian wine industry.
Today Penfolds is highly sought after the world over.