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Gago named Winemakers’ Winemaker 2012

Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago has been given the Winemakers’ Winemaker Award by the Institute of Masters of Wine and the drinks business.

The award, which was announced at a ceremony at ProWein last night, recognises outstanding achievement in the field of winemaking and is voted for by MWs and senior figures from across the international wine community.

Lynne Sherriff MW, chairman of the Institute, and Charlotte Hey, director of the drinks business, presented the award to Peter, who had flown in from Australia during harvest time to receive the accolade.

Having accepted the award, he admitted he was “Feeling a little bit guilty,” and said, “I’m 12,000 miles away from the action”.

However, he continued, “But I get over the guilt very quickly in this sort of environment,” referring to the gathering of the 200 invited guests at the event.

He pointed out that he was one of the most “junior” members of the Penfolds team, despite 23 years of service, and mentioned John Bird and Steve Lienert, who have handled 52 and 33 vintages at Penfolds respectively.

Gago also said, “This is a great award for Australia.”

Lynne Sherriff MW described Gago as “an extraordinarily worthy recipient of this award and a great international ambassador for winemaking.”

Last year marked the inaugural Winemakers’ Winemaker Award, which was given to Peter Sisseck, creator of cult Spanish wine Pingus.

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