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Cover Story WINE.LUXE Cover People | 2017  Aug - Sept 

 

Endure The Reputable Achievement : Peter Gago

延 續 宏 大 成 就 : Peter Gago

There are myriad choices for the wine enthusiasts on premium red wines. However, Penfolds will be the first brand to flash on their mind when they are thinking of a top wine company in the world in terms of the consistency of excellent quality and great value. Thanks to the eminent custodianship of the Chief Winemaker, Peter Gago, who has applied his profound knowledge of Onenology, practical experience and humble personality on leading the Penfolds’ winemaking team, which has successfully made a range of outstanding Penfolds wines to be globally acclaimed in the wine industry.

 

In late July, Penfolds hosted its re-corking clinic again in Hong Kong (The last time was held in 2011), and Mr. Gago was very pleased and passionate to show the guests about the concept, process and meaning of this Re-Corking Service. Never mind if you miss the chance to attend the tour. The generous gentleman is willing to express his thoughts on Re-Corking Clinics and his work through this interview.

WL: It is a great pleasure to meet you again, Peter! Would you mind to introduce about “Penfolds Re-Corking Clinic”?

 

PG: Thank you, it is my pleasure to meet you in Hong Kong again. Ibelieve it is my third time to visit here. For “Penfolds Re-Corking Clinic”, we have built this true programme in the past 26 years. We have conducted it across the globe including London, New York, Munich, Zurich, Shanghai and the US. People has sold Penfolds all around the world, the bottles may have been cellared for several decades. The objectives of the “Re-Corking Clinic” are to access the aged Penfolds and provide consultation on cellaring and drinking windows. It is an ultimate after-sales services, and most importantly — free of charge for Penfolds red wines aged 15 years or older, so it really does add worth to the collection. If the wine is leaking or it has been damaged, we will try to do our best to take it back to what it should be. The distinctive wine health examination is just a part of the programme. Penfolds especially partnered with Sotheby’s. Their wine experts were present to consult on wine auctioning and drinking investments for the secondary market.

 

WL: The service has been operated for 26 years now. Besides its repairing and advising function, is there any other value(s) involved?

 

PG: The re-corking service is about relationship and heritage. It has formed a lifelong relationship between Penfolds winemakers and collectors. We do care about the wine quality after they has been stored for many years, because Penfolds wines may be passed down from generation to generation— Some children went to the “Re-Corking Clinic” with their parents in the 1990s, and now they bring their own children into our clinics. Penfolds wines have a reputation for having the character, concentration and balance to age for the long term, even in not-so-perfect conditions. This is proven at the clinic. Our collectors will act as “word of mouth” to spread the reputation of Penfolds. It is wonderful to witness the re-corking journey for 26 years. Rolls Royce will go anywhere to repair their car; Penfolds will go anywhere to resurrect, repair their bottles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WL: How does this service benefit to the brand development in China?

PG: It is extremely important, the number of Chinese collectors is soaring so they need this service. But this event does not look what we think it should be. You may consider this Re-Corking Clinic to be “authenticity clinics”. We welcome Chinese collectors to bring their bottles to the clinic. Our expert winemakers’ team will taste, access, and certify the wines only if they are declared in good condition for further cellaring. Chinese consumers put high trust in Penfolds and also our team to authenticate their wines.

WL: Now let’s talk about yourself. Congratulations on your recent award as a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List! Can you describe the feeling for the acceptance of this grand honour?

PG: I feel honoured to be recognized as a companion of the Order of Australia, the highest award in Australia. I was the only South Australian to receive such an honour. It means a lot. This is a recognition of the work we do, not only with a day to day job, but also the proof of our best spread externally across the world. I would not achieve who I am today without Penfolds’ elite vineyard managements and the help of veteran team. I often think how lucky I am to work for this prestigious brand, and the journey has not ended yet! I will use my lifelong effort to continue the achievement of this iconic Australian winery.

WL: We know there are numerous superb Penfolds wines, but which one is your most favourite?

PG: The rare Penfolds Grange 1953 is my No.1 favourite. It possess beautiful palate and exquisite aroma. However I cannot afford it (giggle). Closely followed with Vintage 52 and 55, they are exceptional. Vintage 71 is very special, and then 76, 90, 96, 04 and also the 100 points Vintage 08. My most favourite one in the new millennium is vintage 2010. Sorry that I have a lot of favourites.​

市場上有不少優質的紅酒可供選擇,但要想起一間品質多年來保持一致和擁有卓越價值的頂級葡萄酒品牌,Penfolds必然是葡萄酒愛好者腦海中首個浮現的品牌之一!全賴品牌首席釀酒師Peter Gago精湛的管理,以其深厚的釀酒知識、實戰經驗和謙遜的性格來引領Penfolds釀酒團隊醲製出一系列傑出佳釀,廣受全球葡萄酒業讚譽。

 

繼2011年後,Penfolds「換塞診所」於今年7月再次重臨香港 。是次活動上Peter Gago十分熱情地向一眾賓客講解這項活動的概念、過程和意義。若你錯過了這次機會亦不用灰心,這位慷慨先生將會透過是次訪問分享「換塞診所」的經歷和他的工作。

WL: Peter,很榮幸再次與你會面!可否介紹一下Penfolds的「換塞診所」服務?

PG: 感謝你。我亦很榮幸能夠再次回到香港,這好像是我第3次到訪這裡。Penfolds已經提供「換塞診所」服務26年,並在世界各地舉行,包括倫敦、紐約、慕尼黑、蘇黎世、上海和美國。由於Penfolds葡萄酒市場遍佈全球,有些臻釀或許已被陳藏數十年。「換塞診所」服務旨在檢測Penfolds的陳年葡萄酒以及提供估值服務。可說是最頂級的葡萄酒售後服務,而且費用全免,確實為美酒增添非凡價值。如葡萄酒遇到滲漏或受到破壞等問題,我們專業的團隊會盡最大可能來將葡萄酒回復至原有品質。檢測服務只是活動其中一部分,我們更與著名拍賣行蘇富比合作,為葡萄酒收藏家提供Penfolds葡萄酒收藏投資價值諮詢以及二級市場的葡萄酒收藏投資指引。

WL:「 換塞診所」已經推出26年,除了提供檢測和諮詢了服務外,你認為還有甚麼重點價值嗎?

PG: 換塞服務與「關係」和「傳承」息息相關的,Penfolds釀酒師和收藏家們因而建立起終生友好的關係。酒莊十分關注葡萄酒陳釀多年後的品質,因為Penfolds葡萄酒有可能由一代傳承至下一代,有些於90年代陪同父母到「換塞診所」的人,現在已經會帶自己子女來到診所。Penfolds葡萄酒依然可以作長期窖藏,以其無比的陳年潛力和頂級品質著稱。參與過此活動的紅葡萄酒就是最佳證明,收藏家們「口耳相傳」,Penfolds的口碑亦因此變得街知巷聞。很高興26年來一直見證著「換塞診所」的發展。勞斯萊斯會到任何地方修整它們的汽車;Penfolds同樣地亦會到世界各地為各樣葡萄酒提供服務。

WL: 這項服務如何有利益於在中國的品牌建立?

PG: 這服務對酒莊在中國市場的發展極為重要。中國收藏家的人數不斷攀升,他們對此項服務的需求亦正在增加。但與我們所想的不太相似,「換塞診所」可被視為「真品驗證診所」。我們歡迎中國收藏家攜帶他們酒瓶到診所給釀酒師進行品鑑,期後酒莊會為符合資格的葡萄酒貼上認證標籤。中國的消費者給予釀酒師團隊高度的信任,亦對酒莊充滿信心。

WL: 現在不如談談你自己吧。首先恭喜你早前在英女皇壽辰授勳名單中榮獲澳大利亞同伴(AC)勳章!可以分享一下獲得如此重大榮耀的感想嗎?

PG: 我感到萬分榮幸能夠獲得此澳大利亞同伴勳章,除了因為這是澳洲最高榮譽的勳章外,我亦是這次獲得此殊榮的授勳者中唯一一位來自南澳省的。這勳章代表著很多,對我們的工作有著重要的肯定。不單止對我們的日常工作,更證明了Penfolds的葡萄酒於海外亦備受關注。幸得Penfolds資深團隊多年來的幫助,以及酒莊精湛的葡萄園管理,讓我得到今天的成就。我有時會想自己在Penfolds工作是多麼幸福,而我在酒莊的旅程尚未完結,更會盡我畢生的努力,將Penfolds的傳奇不斷延續下去。

WL: Penfolds曾釀製出不少傳奇佳釀,哪一款才是你的最愛呢?

PG: Penfolds 1953年份Grange是我的最愛。極為罕見,擁有極優美的口感和細膩的香氣,可惜我負擔不起(大笑)。緊接的是52年份和55年份,絕對是優秀的作品。71年份亦非常特別,然後還有76年份、90年份、96年份、04年份以及獲滿分的08年份。在新千禧年代我就最喜愛2010年份。不好意思我有太多最愛了。

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