Hunter Valley, Australia
See Tyrrells wines we sell
The Tyrrell's family association with the grape and vine began with Edward Tyrrell, in 1858. Since then Tyrrell's has grown over nearly a century and a half to become one of Australia's largest and most prestigious winemakers. At Tyrrell's, lessons from the past are combined with an irrepressible pioneering spirit and commitment to the future.
Tyrrell's is today a national winemaker, with an extensive product portfolio and vineyards across South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. We are a major international exporter, with our brands available around the world.
Tyrrell's will continue to remain a private company, with family traditions and an eye toward the future, creating individual wines of character, flavour and above all, integrity.
The story of Tyrrell’s Wines is inextricably linked to the story of wine in Australia. It is a story about pioneers, men and women who transformed the Hunter Valley of NSW, planted grapes there and looked for better ways to make wine.
English immigrant Edward Tyrrell planted his first vines in the Hunter Valley in 1858 establishing Tyrrell’s Wines after receiving a land grant in apparently poor pastureland in the lee of the Hunter Valley's Brokenback range. He had 50 acres of vines on a 320 acre estate named “Ashmans” after the Tyrrell’s English Estate. His first vintage was in 1864 and by the turn of the century the land had became recognised as some of the Hunter Valley’s finest vineyard land.
The Hunter Valley was ideal for the production of premium wines, notably Shiraz in the reds and Semillon in the whites. Both made table wines of power and distinction, with the ability to age beautifully in the bottle. These two varieties provided the basis for the beginning of the Tyrrell’s premium Winemaker’s Selection Range.
Today Tyrrell's is a truly national company with vineyards established in Australia's premium wine growing regions - McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast and Heathcote - but it still calls the Hunter Valley home.
Making White Wine
Harvesting is usually carried out either by hand or by machine throughout the night and early morning so as to capture the fruit's highest natural sugar potential. Tyrrell's use light crushing techniques to ensure only the highest quality free run juices are released. The juices are cold settled overnight, with the clear juice being separated from the solids into separate vessels. White juices are then inoculant with Tyrrell's own strains of yeast to begin their ferments which are then carefully maintained at 15-18°C. Malolactic fermentation is used on selected Tyrrell's products. Most of Tyrrell's premium white wines are left with the yeast lees for prolonged periods after fermentation to enhance flavour and colour. The Chardonnays are transferred to French oak barriques during fermentation, where they finish the fermentation and mature for up to six months.
Tyrrell's, like most other Hunter Valley producers do not use oak on their Semillons. Most Tyrrell's whites will benefit from bottle maturation, especially the Semillons and Chardonnays.
Tyrrell’s have maintained many of the traditional methods of making red wine. Concentrating on fruit driven wines with the minimal use of new oak, the winemakers at Tyrrell’s strive to produce big, soft wines of full flavour.
Depending on the vineyard block we either hand or machine harvest the fruit. Our original old vines in Pokolbin for example are always carefully hand harvested. Red-winemaking grapes are crushed and destemmed before being pumped into the fermentation vats. Open vat fermentation is still used; this allows small parcels of fruit to be individually handled. Hand plunging and fermentation in a controlled range of between 22 and 33 degrees celsius, enables a maximum expression of the personality of each grape variety. Most of Tyrrell’s red wines are matured in large oak casks under controlled temperature conditions within the Pokolbin cellars. New oak is used minimally and only when the use of oak flavour will enhance the fruit flavour of the wine. Tyrrell’s can boast one of the most advanced laboratories in the state which was developed to maintain high levels of quality control and analysis. Before the wine is blended it passes through a process of fining, racking and malolactic fermentation.
It is then blended and matured in oak for several months, or even years before it is bottled.
Chief Winemaker at Tyrrell’s, Andrew Spinaze, was named Qantas/ Gourmet Traveller Wine – Winemaker of the Year 2004
Andrew Spinaze commenced at Tyrrell’s Vineyards in 1980 after studies at Roseworthy Agricultural College in Adelaide, and later doing his practical study at Tyrrell’s when the crush was at 1000 tonnes.
In 1989, Andrew became Chief Winemaker, overseeing all winemaking operations at both Tyrrell’s lower and upper Hunter wineries with an overall annual crush of 4000 tonnes.
Throughout his time at Tyrrell’s the company has been awarded a multitude of trophies, gold medals and Wines of the Show awards. It has been Andrew’s dedication to the company that has seen the company prosper through the development of wine styles in particular Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz.