Drive around Hunter Valley, NSW, and there’s a good chance that some of the beautiful, green vineyards you pass will be Tyrrell’s vineyards. The Tyrrell family has been growing grapes in the region for more than 160 years and in that time, five generations have helmed the business.
“History is pretty important,” says Managing Director and fourth-generation winemaker, Bruce Tyrrell, AM. “You can’t live in the past, but after this long you know which bits of dirt are the good bits of dirt in the district. For the last 40 years I’ve looked at where the great vineyards are and if they become available I buy them, lease them or contract the grapes.”
According to Bruce, good bits of dirt mean everything. “In this game, unless you’re on the right soil, you struggle to make the great wines – and that’s wines that will live for 40, 50, 60, 70 years,” he says.
The Tyrrell family knows a thing or two about making great wines. Many of the Tyrrell’s vineyards have vines that are more than 100 years old. “We’ve got original vines from old French Vineyards,” Bruce explains. “The French had to replant on phylloxera-resistant rootstock, so they don’t even have anything like the length of age we have in Australia.”
After the good dirt and healthy vines, the winemaking philosophy at Tyrrell’s is pretty simple: “The winemaker is less important than the vineyard. Here the winemaker is the shepherd,” Bruce says. “We make wine that smells and tastes like where it comes from, and that’s a lot easier here in the Hunter because you know you’re working with material that will live in the bottle.”
As well as the opportunity to sample award-winning wines, the Tyrrell’s winery cellar door in Pokolbin gives you a little taste of history. Bruce’s great grandfather’s original ironbark slab hut, built in 1858, still stands at the cellar door. Stay for a tasting or grab a bottle and enjoy a ploughman’s lunch on the grounds.
Tyrrell’s Estate Grown Chardonnay: A great example of big Chardonnay fruit flavours with minimal oak. You’ll taste white stone fruits and grapefruit balanced by citrus acidity.
Tyrrell’s Estate Grown Shiraz: This medium-bodied red has the classic Hunter Valley fruit and acid profile, which gives the wine a wonderful freshness.
Products featured are available from 11/10/23 to 14/11/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.