Don Ditter, former Chief Winemaker at Australia’s Penfolds, dies at 89

Don Ditter, former Chief Winemaker at Australia’s Penfolds, dies at 89

Don Ditter, who stepped into the legendary Max Schubert’s shoes as chief winemaker at Australia’s Penfolds and improved the overall quality of the wines at a critical juncture in the company’s history, died Dec. 16 in Sydney. He was 89. Raised in Barossa Valley, Ditter began as a lab assistant at Penfolds’ Magill Estate in Adelaide in 1942, rising through the ranks until he took over for Schubert in 1973, overseeing production of wines ranging from popular-priced blends to Grange.

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