After completing a Bachelor of Science (Ed) from the University of Melbourne, Mr Gago launched his career as a science and mathematics teacher before succumbing to a long held interest in wine, often referred to as ‘the grip of the grape’, which saw him relocate to Adelaide and complete a Bachelor of Applied Science (Oenology) at Roseworthy College.

After graduating as Dux, Mr Gago joined the winemaking team at Penfolds in 1989, initially with sparkling wines, before moving on to reds as Penfolds Red Wine Oenologist.

With a natural affinity and passion for winemaking, he quickly became an integral part of the winemaking team and in 2002 he was appointed as Penfolds Chief Winemaker.

Mr Gago spends the first, and most important half of the year winemaking. Labouring from vineyard to winery, ensuring that Penfolds winemaking and viticultural practices are world-class, and understanding the nuances of each vineyard, region and style. Post vintage, he enthusiastically embarks on his other role as an ambassador and educator. As only the fourth custodian of Penfolds’ world famous Grange, Mr Gago is in high demand internationally and he relishes taking South Australian wines to the world. The exposure keeps him sharp, enthused and well-versed in world wine styles. With Dr Patrick Iland OAM, he has co-authored five books on wine.

In 2017 he became South Australia’s Great Wine Capitals Global Ambassador and was appointed a Companion of The Order of Australia (AC).