meet our makers

Winemaking History

John Duval started at Penfolds in 1974 and was Chief Winemaker from 1986-2002. In that time he enjoyed the privilege of making Australia's most famous wine, Penfolds Grange. John founded John Duval Wines in 2003, with the aim to produce magnificent wines from old vines. He’s got a wide range including ‘Plexus’, a Rhone style blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre (SGM), ‘Entity’ Shiraz, and the Reserve ‘Eligo’ Shiraz that’s made in tiny quantities. His ‘Affinis’ Barossa Shiraz 2010 was named New Zealand Wine Society’s Red Wine of the Year in 2012, and Duval has just released the 2011 ‘Spiritus’ Shiraz Mataro Grenache exclusively for New Zealand Wine Society.

Barossa Valley map

John’s favourite wine moment

Releasing my first wine under our family label; the 2003 Plexus SGM (Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre). This wine went on to score 93 points from Robert Parker Jr in The Wine Advocate (Oct 2005) and 94 points from Philip White in The Adelaide Advertiser who called it a “near perfect example.”

John’s winemaking philosophy


Quality grapes from a well-managed vineyard. Picked at the right time with optimum flavour and tannin ripeness with sugar levels not too high.


Fermented to retain fruit expression and balance; not over extracted for red wine.


Bottled at the right time, after maturation has developed and enhanced complexity.

Winery Background

John Duval Wines was established in 2003 and is focused on crafting wines from old-vine Barossa fruit. Shiraz and Shiraz blends are what John champions, and his 30 years of experience have helped him forge close relationships with some of the Barossa’s best growers. The winery is rated 5 Stars by James Halliday, while its wines are exported to all major markets.Total production is very limited, which is why the wines are so highly prized.


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