Bruce Tyrrell

A member of the prestigious Australia's First Families of Wine initiative, it is not surprising given Tyrrell's history that they make some of the most-awarded wines in the country.

Tyrrell's have been making wine since 1858. Their founder's philosophy was 'nothing is great unless it is good' and this is still very much the family motto. Their history spans five generations, and is today headed by the irrepressible Bruce Tyrrell and his children Chris, Jane and John.

Chris has already proven to be a talented winemaker; however it is Bruce who has been behind much of Tyrrell's success in the last two decades. Not afraid to get his hands dirty, his direct, heart-on-his-sleeve approach has made him one of the great Aussie characters of the wine world.

Like its maker, their signature Vat 1 Hunter Valley Semillon is one of the country's true individuals and has proven impossible to imitate. It is grown near Sydney, where the conditions suit the grape nicely: grapes are picked relatively early and bottled quickly, meaning a low potential alcohol, high acidity and neutral flavour.

In their early days they are unexpectedly neutral in character, but their true talent lies in blossoming beautifully with age (sometimes upwards of 20 years) and showcasing the elegant, restrained and compellingly unique Hunter Valley style.

This - along with all the other Tyrrell's wines we stock - is grown in the Polkobin area of Hunter Valley, where they first planted vines in 1879. Unsurprisingly given the long history of the vineyards, yields are low, and their harvest (beginning in January) is one of the earliest and also shortest in the region. The maritime climate means it is generally warm, with particularly hot and dry summers.

The finished product speaks for itself: Tyrrell's has a talent for creating wines with a distinctive, high-quality varietal character with an old world structure and new world savoury flavours.

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