My great grandfather arrived in Pokolbin in 1858 and took up a concessional allotment of 320 acres. This marks the start of over 150 years of the Tyrrell’s being a constant in both the Hunter Valley and Australian wine industries. The motto he brought with him from England “nothing is great unless it is good”, remains as a guiding beacon of what we have been, what we are and what we will be in the future.
The past 50 years has been an era of growth and innovation. We have purchased, or leased many of the great vineyard blocks of the Hunter, introduced chardonnay and pinot noir to the modern Australian wine industry and have been lucky enough to work with Hunter semillon – one of the truly unique wines of the world. Hunter semillon has been the obsession of my generation and it is wonderful to now see international acceptance of the greatness and unique quality of this wine.
When I joined the business full time in 1974, we were a small winery with 95% of the business being at Cellar Door and having made about three export sales; one each to the USA, UK and Sweden. Today, we are a medium sized family business with vineyards in the Hunter Valley, Limestone Coast and Heathcote, and export to more than 50 countries around the world.
The two great developments of the last 20 years have been the selection of the land for our vineyard in Heathcote in Victoria; an area which, I believe, will join the front rank of great quality region in Australia. In the past four years, we have identified the six vineyard blocks that we have which are greater than 100 years old and when the quality was good enough, produced and bottled them as stand alone wines. These are amongst the rarest vineyards in the world.
It is the wish of the current generation that the family goes on for at least another 150 years. Without family business our economy would lack length of vision for the future and the long term commitment to quality and innovation.
We are proud to be a member of the Australia’s First Families of Wine as we all share the same long term vision of the Australian wine industry.
M. Bruce Tyrrell AM