Our History

1858 – Edward takes up a selection of 320 acres of prime Hunter Valley land (one of the last available properties – basically limestone country abutting the Brokenback Range). He names the property “Ashmans” after his maternal grandmother’s ancestral home “Ashmans Hall” in Beccles, Suffolk. The first residence iron bark slab hut is built (still standing today).

1863 – Winery is built.

1864 – Tyrrell’s first vintage.

1869 – Edward marries Susan Hungerford on the 7th June in Maitland. They have 10 children. Susan (Molly), Edward (Dan), Amy, Frederick, Robert (Timothy), Elizabeth (Rose), Ellen (May), Daisy, Florence (Flo) and Avery.

1871 – Edward (known as Dan) George Young Tyrrell is born 9th July at his mother’s parents home “Owlpen” in Maitland.

1889 – ‘Dan’ Tyrrell starts his first vintage.

1891 – Avery Edal Tyrrell is born 22nd April at Pokolbin.

1909 – Edward dies on the 6th December in Pokolbin.

1916 – Avery Tyrrell leaves Australia to fight in World War I, where he is injured. On his return he takes over the responsibility of looking after the family vineyards.

1920 – Avery marries Dorothy Davey on 19th April. They have three sons, Murray, Astley (1922) and Ian (1924).

1921 – Murray Davey Tyrrell is born 10th February in Cessnock.

1941 – On 17th November, Murray enlists for service in World War II. His time in the army is spent in Australia and New Guinea. In the same year, his brother Astley enlists with the Australian Air Force, and then later Ian, also with the Air Force.

1947 – Vineyard area was worked entirely by horses; it took seven weeks to plough the vineyards.

1948 – Ann Tyrrell, daughter of Murray and Ruth is born 15th June in Cessnock. Ann is no longer involved with the company as she and her husband John Ellis own and run the Hanging Rock Winery in Victoria.

1951 – Murray Bruce Tyrrell (known as Bruce) born on 17th October in Cessnock.

1956 – Avery Tyrrell dies on 4th June at his home in Pokolbin, aged 64.

1959 – ‘Dan’ Tyrrell dies on 13th April at Pokolbin, aged 88. He never married. Murray Tyrrell, the 3rd generation takes over as head of the family, aged 38.

1961 – The “Vat” system is born, reds Vat 5, 7 & 9 released.

1963 – Vat 1 Hunter Semillon, arguably the world’s finest semillon is first produced from semillon grapes grown on the Short Flat Vineyard.

1966 – The hugely successful Long Flat Red is released.

1968 Tyrrell’s first plant chardonnay vines. Murray Tyrrell co-founds The Rothbury Estate with Len Evans and eight others.

1971 – Tyrrell’s first release Vat 47 Chardonnay. Sparkling Moselle finally out sells special sweet sherry – Tyrrell’s biggest volume sellers.

1972 – First export to USA – a container of 1,000 cases.

1974 – Bruce Tyrrell, son of Murray, is the 4th generation to join the company, aged 23.

1977 – Bruce marries Pauline Buckley on 22nd October in Pokolbin. Tyrrell’s lease the Weinkeller Vineyard in Pokolbin.

1979 – Ruth Tyrrell, wife of Murray dies on 2nd April in Cessnock. Tyrrell’s win the prestigious Gault-Millau Olympics of Wine in France for the 1976 Vat 6 Pinot Noir – acclaimed as best in the world. The Old Winery range is released.

1980 – Jane Elizabeth Tyrrell, daughter of Bruce and Pauline is born 27th February, the fifth generation. Dorothy ‘Dolly’ Tyrrell, wife of Avery, dies on 9th August in Cessnock.

1981 – John Murray Edward Tyrrell, son of Bruce and Pauline, is born 17th November.

1982 – Christopher George Avery Tyrrell, son of Bruce and Pauline, is born 11th December. Tyrrell’s purchase She-oak vineyard.

1983 – Tyrrell’s purchase the HVD vineyard from Penfolds.

1984 – Long Flat White is released following request from North American market.

1986 – Murray Tyrrell is appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). He receives the award on 26th January.

1988 – Tyrrell’s purchase the Glenbawn Estate winery in the Upper Hunter Valley after having leased it since 1979. Approximately 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes is crushed here annually. Also purchased is the Brokenback Vineyard from The Rothbury Estate.

1993 – Famous Lost Block incident (portion of HVD vineyard was lost leading to the development of this well known brand and style).

1994 – Tyrrell’s purchase a vineyard in McLaren Vale, growing mainly chardonnay and cabernet. Heathcote property in Victoria is purchased and first shiraz vines are planted.

1995 – Share of St. Mary’s Vineyard is purchased in Limestone Coast, South Australia, growing primarily red varieties: cabernet sauvignon, merlot and shiraz. Tyrrell’s voted “Australia’s Best Winery” by Tim White, Australian Financial Review.

1996 – Moon Mountain and Rufus Stone wines released for the first time.

1998 – Release of new Long Flat Chardonnay. Tyrrell’s 140th anniversary.

2000 – Murray Tyrrell dies on 2nd October in Sydney, aged 79.

2002 – Fifth generation, Jane, John and Christopher all involved and working in the business. One third of all production is exported. Approximately 800 acres under vine.

2003 – The Long Flat brand is sold to Cheviot Bridge. Bruce Tyrrell named Hunter Valley’s “Business Person of the Year” on 14th November.

2004 – Andrew Spinaze, Tyrrell’s chief winemaker, wins both Gourmet Traveller WINE and Winestate magazines “Winemaker of the Year”. Vat 1 wins Best Wine of Adelaide Show for second year running.

2005 – Vat 1 wins Best Wine of Sydney Show and Best Show Wine of the Year. Tyrrell’s exports to 30 countries worldwide. Tyrrell’s produces 500,000 cases per year.

2006 – Bruce Tyrrell appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) on 12th June, for his contribution to the Australian wine industry, improving grape quality, research, tourism and export opportunities.

2008 – Tyrrell’s celebrates its 150 year anniversary. Tyrrell’s Wines receives 14 trophies at the Hunter Valley Wine Show, from the 19 presented.

2009 – Vat 1 Semillon 1998 is awarded the Best Semillon at the international Decanter 2009 Wine Awards.. Red winemaker, Mark Richardson is awarded “Winemaker of the Year” by Campbell Mattinson and Gary Walsh in The Big Red Wine Book 2009/10.

2010 – Tyrrell’s Wines are awarded “Winery of the Year” by in the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2010. Vat 47 Chardonnay celebrates its 40th vintage.

2012 – Chris Tyrrell wins “Rising Star of the Year” Award at the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Awards. Glenbawn Estate and McLaren Vale vineyards are sold. Vat 1 and Vat 9 awarded Wines of Provenance trophies at 2012 Hunter Valley Wine Show,  along with four other trophies and thirteen gold medals.

2014 – Considered the best vintage since 1965.

2016 – Bruce Tyrrell received the prestigious Graham Gregory Award at the NSW Wine Awards for his outstanding contribution to the state’s wine industry. The first member of the sixth generation of Tyrrell’s family at the Hunter was born.

2017 – The Tyrrell family purchase the Stevens Shiraz Vineyard, including the Old Patch block from Neil and Bernadette Stevens. The Hunter Valley has 11 blocks of vineyard over 100 years old on their own roots, and this now gives the Tyrrell family seven of those blocks. The 2005 Vat 1 Semillon won the inaugural Governor NSW ‘Best in Show’ trophy which recognises the importance of the NSW Wine industry and its connection with the Office of the Governor.

2018 – Marks the 160th Anniversary of the founding of Tyrrell’s Wines.