Gago is the first Australian winemaker to ever receive this honor from the annual Wine Enthusiast Magazine Wine Star Awards, which awards nine titles. He received the award at a gala, black-tie awards ceremony at the New York Public Library in New York, Monday, January 23, 2006.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine had this to say about Gago: "Peter Gago has been making wine at Penfolds, arguably Australia's most famous winery, for 16 years. But he has been responsible for several of the country's most iconic wines only since 2002, when he was promoted to the post of chief winemaker. Polished and endearing, modest yet confident ... Gago, 48, is a man with a job he says he wouldn't trade for anything."
Penfolds wines are recognized throughout the world, with the flagship Penfolds Grange widely regarded as one of the greatest wine styles created in the 20th century. The South Australian based winery has collected a number of significant international accolades including:
1989 Awarded International Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition, London 1991 & 2000 Named Red Winemaker of the Year at International Wine Challenge, London 1999 U.S. Wine Spectator magazine names 1955 Grange Hermitage as one of the "Top 12 wines of the 20th Century" 2004 U.K. wine magazine Decanter names 1962 Penfolds Bin 60A Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon Kalimna Shiraz in the number seven position in its "100 Greatest Wines of All Time"
Peter Gago's Wine Enthusiast Magazine Winemaker of the Year 2005 award comes hot on the heels of another milestone. In September, Penfolds set a new Australian record for the price of a new release wine. At Christie's Fine and Rare Wines Auction in New York one six pack of 2004 Penfolds Bin 60A Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon Kalimna Shiraz set the record when it was sold for $4,935 USD. Prior to that point, no new release Australian wine had achieved over $1,000 for a 750 ml bottle.