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The Science of Penfolds Re-corking Clinics

8 August 2006

The art and science of the Penfolds Re-corking Clinics

On 17 August, wine enthusiasts can enjoy the rare opportunity of having the health of their prized wines assessed and valued when the internationally acclaimed Penfolds Re-corking Clinic visits New Zealand for only the second time ever.

The only one of its kind in the world, the free service allows wine lovers to taste the rewards of their patience when they have their Penfolds red wines aged 15 years and older assessed by a team of international experts – including Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago.

This art of re-corking is a delicate process. Wines are firstly inspected in the bottle. Bottles with low levels (where the wine has dropped to the 'shoulder' of the bottle, a condition called ‘ullage’) may be opened, tested, and have their quality assessed. If the wine is deemed to be in a sound condition, it is topped up with the most recent vintage, re-corked, and provided with a new Penfolds capsule. The Winemaker then certifies the wine, attaching a certificate to the back of the bottle stating that the wine has been successfully re-corked at the 2006 Auckland Clinic.

This process guarantees and certifies the wine for quality, ensuring attendees leave the clinic with their re-corked collection in an excellent condition, ready for continued cellaring or to enjoy at their leisure.

Webb’s auction house will also be on site to give wine owners a current market valuation of their collections.

Now in its 15th year, the Penfolds Re-corking Clinic has assessed wines in Australia, Europe, the US, and, of course, New Zealand. Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago estimates that somewhere between 70,000 and 80,000 bottles of wine have been successfully re-corked during this time. No wonder Penfolds is now generally considered to be a world authority in re-corking.

“Watching wines grow and evolve gives so much pleasure, not only for me, but for many enthusiasts around the world who cellar and enjoy fine wines. A whole new generation is discovering the benefits of cellaring fine wines; not only from an investment point of view, but from experiencing the pleasure of drinking wines as they mature,” says Mr Gago.

“It is truly an amazing and unique after-sales service. The clinics give our wine friends confidence in their investment and encourages further interest in wine. No other wine company offers this exclusive re-corking service on this scale.”


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