Tyrrell’s celebrates 160 years of winemaking
By Deborah Jackson, Editor National Liquor News
Tyrrell’s, one of Australia’s pre-eminent and oldest family-owned and operated wineries, is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year.
Established in 1858 and with vineyards extending from their historic home in the Hunter Valley to Heathcote, the business is today headed up by fourth generation family member Bruce Tyrrell and his son, fifth generation family member, Chris Tyrrell.
To add to the celebration, the 160th anniversary just so happens to coincide 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 anniversary and to demonstrate how the best of the Hunter Valley has the ability to age gracefully, Tyrrell’s has 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 more than 250 members in attendance. A parcel of these wines has also been allocated to trade customers.
Chris Tyrrell said that 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.”
For Bruce, he says that Hunter wine “runs through the veins of the family”.
He says: “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.
“The closeness of our operation, and the family nature of it, means we can consistently make wines that are relevant to the drinking public,” Jane Tyrrell.