In Adelaide in 1951 winemaker Max Schubert made his first vintage of what was to become Australia’s most famous red wine, Penfolds Grange. In that year Milton Wordley was born.
62 years later, after becoming one of Australia’s foremost wine photographers, Milton has produced a celebration of the great red, first as one of the highest quality books you’ll ever see and now a photography exhibition ‘A year in the life of Grange’.
Milton’s book was recently awarded the worlds ‘Best Wine Book Photography’ at the International Gourmand WIne & Cookbook Awards presented in Beijing, which is testimony to the outstanding quality of both the photography and entire production standards for this limited edition masterpiece.
Eleven40 Gallery is delighted to show a collection of Milton’s images from the book. The images are honest and forthright, made with love and care while also unadulterated of fancy techniques or photographic gimmicks of our time. Not unlike the time honoured and trusted techniques continued today in the making of Grange itself.
Max Schubert died in 1994, so his daughter, Sandie Coff, launched the book where the great wine began at the Magill Estate in South Australia.
“This book provides a different approach to the Grange story and one that dad would have felt is a great honour to him and to those who assisted him develop the wine, those who followed him and those who continue his vision,” Ms Coff said.
“Just as Grange opens up all the senses, so do the images and narrative in this work of art.”
The book has been two years in the making. Milton followed the production of the 2012 vintage from vineyard to the barrel. He then travelled around the world to tastings where he was exposed to all vintages since Grange began.
The book is a truly South Australian affair, combining the photography of Milton, the prose of wine writer Philip White and the design of John Nowland. It has been printed by Finsbury Green, with binding by Charles Zammit at Chasdor.
“The Grange story is so special in Australia’s wine history, not only because it is arguably the best red ever consistently produced for more than 60 years, but for the story of Max Schubert and his fellow winemaker and chemist Ray Beckwith who really changed the art of making quality wine in Australia,” said Milton.
“I am proud to have documented the Grange story and thank Penfolds for their support along the way and in particular Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker. I photographed Max over the years and got to know his devotion to Grange.”
“From the specialist grape-growers to all those involved in the creation of the wine, I have come to appreciate how much goes into this very special icon of Australia’s wine industry.”
Writer Philip White also knew Max Schubert from his early days when he began his wine writing career.
“During this past year, I have been very aware of how Max Schubert would have loved being involved in the making of this book. There have been many moments when I itched to phone him, just as I regularly did when setting forth on my life in wine.”
At the launch, Peter Gago made available some of the great wine for a toast to the book, saying: “it is only right that Grange is poured today. The only thing better than a bottle of the 2004 Grange is a Magnum – so I put some aside for this important book launch.”
The book has been produced in three editions - Collector’s, Winemaker’s and Limited. The price starts at $785 for the Limited edition – around the price of one bottle of the current vintage of Grange available.