Location: Hunter Valley
Winemaker: Andrew Spinaze, Mark Richardson y Chris Tyrrell
Properties: 106 ha.in the Hunter Valley (NSW) Pokolbin & "sacred sites": Sandy soils planted with Semillon y Chardonnay, many on old vines. 26 ha. in Heathcote (Victoria), planted with Shiraz. 15 ha. on the Limestone Coast (SA) on red clay soils "terra rosa". All red varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz y Merlot
Production: 100,000 bottles from estate vineyards.
Since 1971, Tyrrell’s has been awarded over 5,000 trophies and medals Five Star rating & "Winery of the Year" for 2010 in James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion.
Winemakers in the Hunter Valley for more than 160 years, the Tyrrell family has amassed an unrivalled knowledge of one of Australia’s greatest winegrowing regions. Nestled in the foothills of the Brokenback Range, the estate owns a unique patchwork of vineyards in a diverse range of soils, from sandy loams on ancient creek beds to heavier red clays over limestone, with many “sacred sites” bearing vines over 100 years old. Tyrrell's has been instrumental in establishing Hunter Valley Semillon as one of the world’s iconic wine styles and their Vat 1 Semillon is Australia’s most awarded white wine, having won almost 5,500 medals and more than 330 trophies.
Over those 160-plus years, Tyrrell’s has been a constant in both the Hunter Valley and Australian wine industries. Their long history has enabled them to identify the region’s best vineyards, 11 of them more than a century old; and to ascertain the best blocks within those vineyards. The Tyrrell family owns eight of the 11 oldest vineyards in NSW and uses fruit from these ancient vines to craft the wines that make up the Tyrrell’s Sacred Sites. Among those wines is the Old Patch Shiraz, which has been awarded a perfect 100-point score for four releases in a row – 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2019 – by James Suckling. (Old Patch was not made in 2015 or 2016.) While the Tyrrells are all aware of, and have a deep respect for, the foundations put in place by their forefathers, they are also always looking to the future. “It’s a humbling experience to be able to go out every day and work with vineyards that were planted by my grandfather, my great-grandfather and my great-great grandfather,” says fifth-generation winemaker Chris Tyrrell. “And while the Hunter Valley was Australia’s first grape-growing region, it’s still a progressive wine region. Nobody rests on their laurels here, and at Tyrrell’s we are very much a part of that, constantly looking to innovate and stay ahead of the curve.” As Chris and his father, Bruce, say, “it’s all about keeping half an eye on the past and one and half eyes on the future”. Tyrrell’s was among the founding members of Australia’s First Families of Wine, an organisation that helps to build awareness of premium Australian wines and their heritage. With a fifth generation now involved in the business, Tyrrell’s will continue to remain family run, with each generation focused on passing the business to the next in better condition than they received it, all the while being guided by Edward Tyrrell’s motto: “Nothing is great unless it is good.”
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