Scott Krix Recognised with Penfolds Award
Krix needs no introduction to readers of StereoNET these days, but here's something you likely didn't know about the Krix name, particularly the company founder Scott Krix.
Scott is a third-generation grape grower. His grandfather was originally from Clare in South Australia and settled in the Riverland as a soldier settler after the first world war. Scott's father learned his trade from Scott's grandfather during a WW2 resettlement programme.
Scott's interest in electronics and audio began in primary school, and he remained engaged throughout secondary school. Scott leant towards physics, maths, and chemistry in high school, though he also won a citation for agricultural science in Year 11, where he topped the state.
Scott's interest in viticulture and wine came from having made a few batches during his high school years – along with his interest in playing music, mechanics, electronics and audio.
Following high school, Scott received a tertiary scholarship to study electronic engineering at university, which was his first choice. Interestingly, his second choice was oenology (the study of wines) at the University of Adelaide, but furthering his study in this area would not come until later.
Pursuing his passion for engineering, history records that Scott later founded the Krix loudspeaker company, which is still one of Australia's greatest audio success stories to this day.
His passion for grapes and wine never vanished completely, though, resurfacing in the mid-nineties and some twenty years later. An opportunity arrived to plant some bare land with Shiraz, which became a pivotal moment for Scott.
His connection to Penfolds began with his father, who was contracted to Penfolds to sell some of his fruit. Of course, he knew the right people to talk to – as it turned out, the people who made the decisions Scott had known from his school days. Fortuitously, in 1997 a contract was agreed and signed with Penfolds before a single vine was even planted.
The following years were dedicated to growing the vines and expanding the vineyard. Grades were nothing special in those early years but got better with the ongoing improvements related to the site and the vines maturing.
In 2005 Scott managed an A3 grade in one block of the vineyard, which supplies Penfolds Bin 389. The following year, the same block resulted in an A2 grade of St Henri. The vineyard steadily produced those two grades for many years. One of the highlights came in 2008 when almost the whole vineyard produced St Henri. For Scott, this was an achievement better than he could have ever imagined.
His dedication paid off in mid-June 2014 when he received a phone call from Penfolds informing him of the ultimate prize – a Grange classification. So few vineyards ever get this, so it came as a complete surprise – especially for a vineyard that was so young.
In some years, this classification may only be given to two growers, whereas in others, it might be six or seven – but no grower gets this grade automatically. It's only the fruit that makes the grade, and it must be bought from South Australia.
His achievements continued when Scott received more Grange classifications in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Vintage 18 and 21 saw fruit from one of the blocks included in the Penfolds new label Superblend Bin 802A and 802B.
In December every year, Penfolds hold a Grange lunch at the prestigious Magill Estate Restaurant. An exclusive event, the invited growers receive acknowledgement for that year's vintage. As you can imagine, this is a big deal for both the growers and Penfolds.
If a grower makes the grade in three consecutive years, which rarely happens, Penfolds presents them with a shield with the name of the vineyard, the grower's name, and the successful vintages. It goes without saying that this is one of Scott's proudest achievements.
To be successful in just one chosen field in life is remarkable, but Scott Krix has achieved great success in both the wine and the audio industries – and they just so happen to complement one another perfectly. Perhaps you could say he has a passion for achieving sensory outcomes via science and engineering?
StereoNET’s Founder and Publisher, born in UK and raised on British Hi-Fi before moving to Australia where he worked as an Engineer in both the audio and mechanical fields.