My painting “The Secret” was inspired by an amazing story of belief and tenacity by winemaker Max Schubert. In my painting of the 1959 Grange Hermitage, it is his signature that adorns the bottle’s label. Schubert, Head winemaker of Penfolds, was an artist and not afraid to challenge himself so I have found myself relating to him on many levels,,,.one of my favourite challenges is capturing the curves and multiple reflections. Can you find them all?
So why is this painting called “The Secret”? I share the story [explaining why] directly from Penfolds themselves: ----- “In the latter part of 1950, Schubert was sent to Europe to investigate wine making practices in Spain & Portugal. On a side trip to Bordeaux, Schubert was inspired and impressed by the French cellared style wines and dreamed of making ‘something different and lasting’ of his own. Back in Adelaide, in time for the 1951 vintage, Max Schubert set about looking for appropriate ‘raw material’ and Shiraz was his grape of choice.
Combining traditional Australian techniques, inspiration from Europe and precision wine making practices developed at Penfolds, Schubert made his ﬁrst experimental wine in 1951. Max Schubert was asked to show his efforts in Sydney to top management, invited wine identities and personal friends of the board. To his horror the Grange experiment was universally disliked and Schubert was ordered to shut down the project. What might have been enough to bury Grange in another winemaker’s hands, only made Max more determined to succeed. Max continued to craft his Grange vintages in secret, hiding three vintages ’57, ’58 and ’59, in depths of the cellars. Eventually the Penfolds board ordered production of Grange to restart, just in time for the 1960 vintage.” -- "1959 is the last of the three 'hidden' or 'secret' Granges made by Max Schubert in defiance of a company order to cease production. The wine was released commercially after the ban was lifted. " ------ The “Hidden Granges” 1957, 1958 and 1959 are highly sought after by collectors and have become part of wine making myth and history and, for me, a great story to tell in my Art , "The Secret”.