Chief winemaker Andrew Spinaze has been at the front line of Tyrrell’s move from a small family winery to serious industry player. Born and raised on NSW’s north coast near Lismore, Andrew joined Tyrrell’s in 1980, after completing his studies at Roseworthy Agricultural College in Adelaide, just as a massive growth phase began.
Under Murray Tyrrell’s direction in 1981, Andrew was placed in control of all chardonnay production for the company and in 1985 he became Assistant Winemaker with an emphasis still on chardonnay winemaking. In 1987, Andrew traveled to France to fine tune his winemaking skills. He became Chief Winemaker in 1989 overseeing all winemaking operations at both Tyrrell’s lower and upper Hunter wineries with an overall crush of 4,000 tonnes.
During his time at Tyrrell’s Wines, the company has been awarded a multitude of trophies and medals at major wine shows. In 2004, Andrew was named “Winemaker of the Year” by the two most important wine magazines in Australia: Winestate and Gourmet Traveller WINE. The Gourmet Traveller WINE award is the only award that rewards the individual winemaker through a rigorous selection process from industry peers and, therefore, highlights the level of respect that Andrew has developed in the industry. In the same year, Andrew also won for the second year in a row, the Malaysia Airlines Prize for the Winemaker of the Most Outstanding Red or White Wine at the Adelaide Wine Show.
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. He has also been an instrumental force in driving the company to invest in new viticultural areas including Heathcote (Victoria) and McLaren Vale (South Australia), as well as the creation of new wine styles under the Rufus Stone range.
Building upon their inheritance of just 60 acres to 900 acres today, Tyrrell’s premium vineyards extend from their historic home in the Hunter Valley to other distinguished grape growing regions of Australia including Heathcote in Victoria.