Tyrrell’s Wines celebrates 160 years in the making

Tyrrell’s Wines celebrates 160 years in the making

Established in 1858, Tyrrell’s is one of Australia’s pre-eminent and oldest family-owned wineries with vineyards extending from their historic home in the Hunter Valley to Heathcote.

Now headed up by fourth generation family member Bruce Tyrrell, and fifth generation Chris Tyrrell, the business this year is celebrating 160 years in the making.

Chris said 160 years of family business is an amazing thing.

“We are lucky enough to make wine from vines planted by our great great grandfather in a time when they had no electricity or any of the luxuries we have today. It is an honour to work with these wonderful assets,” Chris said.

There have been numerous monumental moments which saw the Tyrrells put the Hunter Valley on the world wine map. From the 1963 release of their Vat 1 Hunter Semillon, now one of Australia’s most awarded white wines; to being the first Australian winery, in 1973, to mature Chardonnay in French oak and enter it into a wine show, which was controversial at the time.

Bruce said the Tyrrells have been through many phases of change over the past 160 years, adapting to changes in the industry and the economy and the family members of the time.

“The consistent factor throughout time has been our love of the Hunter Valley and the wines that it makes. It runs through the veins of the family,” Bruce said.

“We have been amongst the very few people lucky enough to work with something that is truly unique in the world of wine – Hunter Semillon – and have become close to the perfection of its style.

“In another 160 years my wish is that the family is still here on our original land making wines that are of great quality and distinctive to the Hunter Valley.”

With the fifth generation, Jane, John and Chris, involved in the business, Tyrrell’s will continue to drive family as being pinnacle to the ethos of the company, with the simple philosophy of producing high quality wine that people love to drink.

“I look forward to continuing to push the barriers of quality in viticulture and winemaking, whilst never forgetting the deeds of the people that got us here,” Chris said.

The 160th anniversary coincides with the 47th vintage of Vat 47 Hunter Chardonnay and the 150th vintage of the Old Patch vineyard, home to the oldest producing vines in NSW.

To mark the 160th anniversary and to demonstrate how the best of the Hunter Valley has the ability to age gracefully, Tyrrell’s have released two commemorative museum wines: 2005 Vat 1 Hunter Semillon, the most awarded wine in Tyrrell’s history, and 2007 Vat 9 Hunter Shiraz.

These were launched at a special event, held at the winery in May, with over 250 members in attendance. A parcel of these wines has also been allocated to trade customers.

IMAGE | Tyrrell’s Wines 160th Anniversary Members Masterclass.

Tyrrell’s Wines

For 160 years Tyrrell’s has been one of Australia’s pre-eminent family owned wine companies. With vineyards extending from their historic Hunter Valley home in NSW to Heathcote in Victoria. Headed by fourth generation family member Bruce Tyrrell, and son Chris, Tyrrell’s is home to some of Australia’s most awarded wines.

The Hunter Valley holds to some of the oldest vineyards in the world, having been spared the phylloxera epidemic that wiped out the great vineyards of Europe in the 19th century. Within the boundaries of the region, it boasts eleven blocks of vineyard over 100 years old still on their own roots – some of the most unique pockets of vineyard land in Australia. With the purchase of the Old Patch vineyard in December 2017, the Tyrrell family now owns seven of those eleven blocks.

Founding father Edward Tyrrell’s, motto nothing is great unless it is good, has been a guiding beacon for the family. This commitment to quality has been, and will continue to be, the basis of all that Tyrrell’s do. With the fifth generation involved in the business, Tyrrell’s continues to drive family as a primary ethos of the company, with the simple philosophy of producing high quality wine that people love to drink.

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