This bottle of Penfolds Grange sold for a record $103,000 – the highest price ever paid for an Australian wine

  • A 1951 Penfolds Bin 1 Grange wine has sold for a record price at auction.
  • It went to a Melbourne buyer for more than $103,000 – the highest price ever for a bottle of Australian wine.
  • The wine broke the previous record of $81,000, which was set in December 2019.
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Another record has been broken for a Penfolds Grange wine.

A Melbourne buyer nabbed a bottle of 1951 Penfolds Bin 1 Grange for $103,555 – the highest price paid for a bottle of Australian wine. This price includes the buyer’s premium of 16.5% including GST, which is paid on top of the hammer price.

It was sold at the Langton’s Penfolds: Rewards of Patience Auction which closed on Tuesday. The auction, which is in its 24th year, runs every six months and this time around, 1,092 bottles of Penfolds were sold.

The 1951 Penfolds beat the previous record for the first vintage of Penfolds Grange, which went for $81,550 (also including the buyer’s premium) back in December 2019.

“The early 1950s Penfolds Grange wines are very rare, so collectors will snap these up when they can in order to complete their sets of every vintage of these incredible wines,” Langton’s Head of Auctions Tamara Grischy said in a statement. “The 1951 Penfolds Grange truly represents the beginning of modern Australian wine.”

1951 Penfolds Grange

Langton’s General Manager Jeremy Parham described Penfolds as an “underdog story”, as its first chief winemaker Max Schubert began creating the Grange as an experiment.

“At the time, Australian winemakers were mainly making fortified wines,” he said in a statement.

“He believed in his conviction, and he kept making Grange, although he was actually told to stop making it by his supervisors. He was a rebel, and the wine world can forever be grateful for his refusal to do what he was told.”

The record-breaking sale comes days after 246 bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) were sold from an auction of Australian wine critic and collector James Halliday’s wine collection.

According to Broadsheet, DRC is widely heralded as a producer of the finest wine, hailing from vineyards in Burgundy, France. In total, Halliday’s wines were worth $1 million.

The online auction of Halliday’s wine collection gained international attention, with around 35% of wines sold to overseas buyers. Each wine received a certificate of authenticity signed by Halliday.

Parham added that judging by the two auctions, “the demand for fine wine is stronger than ever” as “fine wine collectors look to enhance their cellar collections.”

According to Langdon’s, the demand for fine wine has increased since coronavirus restrictions set in during March. It cited an almost 50% rise in online bidders and a jump in the number of customers buying fine wines from its website.

The next Rewards of Patience Auction kicks off in December 2020.