Murray Tyrrell created the Winemaker’s Selection range in 1965, when, with the assistance of Len Evans, he set out to determine the best wines of each vintage. He named them after the cask in which they were matured; for instance, the first Chardonnay we made was fermented in cask number 47, so it became Vat 47 Hunter Chardonnay, or Pinot Chardonnay as it was then called. In those days, the fermentation and storage of both white and red wines predominantly took place in large old oak barrels. Over the years, the barrels have been updated, but the original numbers have endured.
In 1974, there was a consolidation of Vat numbers as we had up to six casks from the same vineyard block that all tasted much the same. This consolidation reduced the selection to about 12 wines in total – a mixture of whites and reds.
The early 2000s saw a further consolidation with the inauguration of the Sacred Sites range and the expansion of our Single Vineyard program. Today, the Winemaker’s Selections are estate-grown on the various blocks that meld into the wines that we believe best represent our land and preferred style.
These wines, along with those from the Sacred Sites and Single Vineyards, are only bottled in years when we believe that the quality is high enough to meet our standards.