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Thursday, 2 July 2020

$20k for a glass of red: Bottle of Australia's most expensive wine EVER is sold for $103,000 at auction - after a mystery buyer snaps it up

  • Penfolds 51 Bin 1 Grange sold for $103,555 at an online auction on Tuesday 
  • There are about five standard drinks in bottle making each glass worth $20,500
  • The sale set a new record for the most expensive bottle of Australian wine 
  • Less than 20 bottles of the extremely rare wine are believed to be in circulation
The most expensive bottle of Australian wine ever sold, with less than 20 bottles in circulation since 1951, has gone at auction for $103,555.
A mystery Melbourne buyer bought the ultra rare 1951 Penfolds Bin 1 Grange, from South Australia, for the princely sum during an online auction on Tuesday.
The hefty price means a single standard glass of the wine would cost more than $20,500.  
Langton's Head of Auctions Tamara Grischy, who carried out the sale, told Daily Mail Australia the ultra rare wine was highly sought after by collectors.
The ultra rare 1951 Penfolds Bin 1 Grange (pictured) has fewer than 20 bottles in circulation and has sold for $103,555, making it the country's most expensive bottle ever
The ultra rare 1951 Penfolds Bin 1 Grange (pictured) has fewer than 20 bottles in circulation and has sold for $103,555, making it the country's most expensive bottle ever
A mystery Melbourne buyer bought the rare 1951 Penfolds Bin 1 Grange for the princely sum during an online auction on Tuesday (pictured, a Penfolds vineyard in South Australia)
A mystery Melbourne buyer bought the rare 1951 Penfolds Bin 1 Grange for the princely sum during an online auction on Tuesday (pictured, a Penfolds vineyard in South Australia)
'This is a historic vintage, and represents the beginning of modern Australian wine,' he said.
'This is the first vintage of Australia's most renowned wine, and Penfolds Grange was a wine that Penfolds first chief winemaker Max Schubert made 69 years ago as an experiment.'
Penfolds vineyards are mostly tucked away across South Australia with setups in world-renowned spots such as Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and Magill Estate. 
The winery was ranked 35th in the Sydney Morning Herald's 2020 Top 52 Winery spots in Australia.  
Penfolds first chief winemaker Max Schubert (pictured) made the wine 69 years ago as an experiment, and it has since become world-renowned
Penfolds first chief winemaker Max Schubert (pictured) made the wine 69 years ago as an experiment, and it has since become world-renowned
More than 1,000 bottles of Penfolds wines (pictured) were sold during the latest auction, making them some of the most coveted in the wine world
More than 1,000 bottles of Penfolds wines (pictured) were sold during the latest auction, making them some of the most coveted in the wine world
Penfolds spreads its business across multiple vineyards, allowing it to make a diverse array of wines such as Shiraz, Cabernet and Chardonnay.
Ms Grischy said its Grange range was a constant hit with collectors. 
'Another reason the 1951 Penfolds Grange is so coveted is because collectors need it to complete their sets, which means collections with every vintage made of Penfolds Grange, and the sets are very rare,' he explained.
'A set of Penfolds Grange with vintages from 1951 to 2015 was sold for $372,800 in December 2019 in the Langton's Rewards of Patience Auction, a world record amount.'
More than 1,000 bottles of Penfolds wines were sold during the latest auction. 
A 1952 Grange sold for $46,601 and a 1970 Grange went for $3,501 - records for both sets of wines.
The 1951 Penfolds that sold for $103,555 beat the previous 2018 record when the same wine was sold for $81,550.    
Langston's general manager Jeremy Parham said Mr Schubert, the mastermind behind Grange, was a rebel and trailblazer.
Penfolds vineyards are mostly tucked away across South Australia with setups at places like the world-renowned Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and Magill Estate (pictured, Penfolds winery in the Barossa Valley)
Penfolds vineyards are mostly tucked away across South Australia with setups at places like the world-renowned Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and Magill Estate (pictured, Penfolds winery in the Barossa Valley)
Penfolds has setups across South Australia including the world-renowned Barossa Valley (pictured)
Penfolds has setups across South Australia including the world-renowned Barossa Valley (pictured)
'At the time, Australian winemakers were mainly making fortified wines,' Mr Parham said. 
'Max Schubert 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.'
Though it isn't just wine collectors who are drawn to the online auctions.  
The Langston website has recorded a 50 per cent spike in online orders since COVID-19 restrictions were introduced in March.  
'With many of us still unable to visit our favourite restaurants or travel to cellar doors, new and existing clients have instead immersed themselves in the world of fine wine from the comfort of their homes,' Mr Parnham said.

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