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Peter Gago is honoured, humbled and happy

Peter Gago is honoured, humbled and happy

Penfolds chief winemaker, Mr Peter Gago, has been recognised for his contribution to the wine industry with a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia bequeathed to him on Monday.

The highly accredited winemaker has been with Penfolds for 28 years, is a Baron of the Barossa, and has received many awards and praises for the fine drop he has produced over the years at the Nuriootpa based winery.

Peter said that receiving this accolade is one of his proudest moments, but he is still shocked for being given the Order of Australia and joked that the letter went to the wrong house.

He continued that he is feeling the “three h’s” – honoured, humbled and happy. He hopes that he will be able to use this new accreditation to showcase the wine industry worldwide and for people to understand the importance and weight the industry has in Australia.

“This is a huge honour. It’s the AC, it’s the Companion. I am just realising what it all involves. It is wonderful. From a Barossa perspective, it will have huge cache. I am a part of Penfolds and they talk about standing on the shoulders that have gone before. It’s literally what I have done since I have joined the industry,” said Peter.

“What’s good about the Barossa and this award, because this is the top award, the AC, it puts wine up there alongside the arts, theatre, politics… It really puts wine right up there. The culture of wine, the business of wine has been acknowledged. Taking me out of the equation, look at what it’s for, it’s for wine. Which is fantastic from a Barossa perspective.

“This honour is above and beyond day to day work. This is more for work I have done outside of Australia. That’s a big part of it, flying that flag, I also fly a Barossa flag, an Adelaide flag, a South Australian flag. And they deemed me to fly an Australian flag.”

This honour goes next to one of his other favourite accolades he has received, an award he received in Dusseldorf, Germany, the Winemaker’s Winemaker Award. It was only the second time it had been awarded. 

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.