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.