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Since 1844, Penfolds has played a pivotal role in the evolution of winemaking with a history and heritage that profoundly reflects Australia’s journey from colonial settlement to the modern era.


Penfolds collection of benchmark wines were established in a spirit of innovation and the constant and endless pursuit of quality, evidenced from the secret bottling of Grange in 1951 and the unbroken line of vintages of what is now Australia’s most iconic wine. Penfolds was founded in 1844 by Dr Christopher Rawson and Mary Penfold. English immigrants, they arrived in Adelaide only eight years after it was founded as South Australia’s capital. After purchasing the ‘delightfully situated and truly valuable estate’ at Magill on the slopes of the Adelaide Hills, they planted a vineyard and established a medical surgery in the newly built stone cottage ‘The Grange’. Already wine was considered by colonial practitioners as a healthy drink. Penfolds tonic wines became so popular that a thriving wine business was soon established.

By 1881 Penfolds was producing one-third of South Australia’s wine production. During the turn-of-the-century, Penfolds wines reached some of the furthest corners of the British Empire. It became Australia’s largest producer of fortified wines by the time of Australia’s Federation in 1901. 


Although Dr Christopher Penfold is recorded as the founder of Penfolds, he was busy building a medical practice and prescribing Penfolds wine as tonics to his patients. It was predominantly his wife Mary who managed the vineyard, made the wine and established a thriving wine business.

The memory of Dr Christopher and Mary Penfold is immortalised in the Penfolds name. The remnants of the Grange vineyard at Magill Estate still stand, centred on the historic Grange Cottage, with superb sweeping views across the modern city of Adelaide, South Australia.

Today, the collection continues to display the distinctive and consistently recognisable Penfolds ‘House Style’; the ultimate expression of Penfolds time-honoured tradition of sourcing the best fruit from the best regions. Historic blends, significant milestones and heritage vineyards have been honoured by a lineage of custodians whose courage and imagination, precision and humility have ensured Penfolds remains true to its original values while remaining relevant for current and future generations. The stories and philosophies behind each label bring a timeless quality, making Penfolds wines special and compelling for collectors and drinkers the world over.




1777 - Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin is born, the daughter of a prominent textile manufacturer and politician.

I798 - Barbe-Nicole marries Francois-Marie Clicquot. Given the timing - in the midst of the revolution - the wedding is held in secret (in a cellar, in fact). 

1804 - Under her husband’s management, the house prospers, catering to tastes of the luxurious and indulgent courts across Europe. Madame Clicquot is destined for a very comfortable life.

1805 - Tragedy strikes at the age of 27 when her husband passes and leaves her to raise their child. At a time when it is almost unheard of for a woman to lead a business, she convinces her father-in-law to allow her to put her in charge.

1806 - Madame Clicquot invests a further 80,000 francs into the business. Unfortunately, the first few years are trying; Europe is at war.

1810- Madame Clicquot creates the first vintage Champagne, showing a knack for innovation. 

1811 - An excellent vintage coincides with the timing of a comet seen in the skies for much of the year. The Veuve Clicquot ‘comet vintage’ is considered by some as the first great modern Champagne vintage.

1814 - After several years of an embargo on French bottled wine, the Russian tsar opens the doors for trade again. Maison Clicquot charter a ship with 10,000 bottles, followed by another 12,000 bottles. The timing of the arrival results in a windfall for the business.

1815 - After Napoleon’s defeat, the rest of Europe enters a period of merriment, with Champagne at the heart of all celebrations.

1816 - Madame Clicquot invents the first
‘riddling table’, the process of ageing and turning a bottle to guarantee a clear wine. This process is still used today. She also becomes known as ‘La Grande Dame of Champagne’.

1818 - Madame Clicquot invents rosé as we know it today, blending still white wine with red grapes.

1866 - Madame Clicquot dies in July. Sales had reached 750,000 bottles a year and her life is celebrated across the world.




53% Pinot Noir: Aÿ, Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzy and Verzenay 47% Chardonnay: Avize, Oger and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger


La Grande Dame is only produced in the finest vintages of the region


Madame Clicquot, La Grande Dame of Champagne

La Grand Dame translates to:
An elderly woman of great prestige or ability

‘Veuve’ translates to: widow



Charlotte Olympia is an iconic accessory designer who designs glamorous collections with a modern silhouette. Charlotte is best known for her Iconic styles such as the Dolly with its signature ‘island’ platform and her distinctive Kitty flats. The collaboration with Clicquot is a perfect combination of businesswomen and global success.


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