Meet Bruce Tyrrell from Tyrrell's Wines
Tell us about your back ground: How did you come to work for Tyrrell’s Wines?
I was born into it, so have been here all my life, from chasing cattle and being a bloody nuisance until my teens and then working in all parts of the winery and vineyard. No school or university holidays ever.
How is the 2018 vintage shaping up? We’ve started harvest earlier than last year, and the berries are smaller from the dry winter, spring and early summer. First real flavours coming the week of the January 8th and there looks to be a smaller overall crop, but it’s a bit early for a quality call. It might be another 2007.
What varietal is looking ‘the goods’ for Tyrrell’s wine lovers? Semillon still runs in our blood stream and with the range of top vineyards we now own or control, we have a style for most palates. There has been a big jump in our Chardonnays in the last 10 years, so they are also worth a look.
Do you have a favourite wine to make? Semillon, because it is all about getting the soil, season and maturity right in the vineyard. It is the most naturally made wine.
Can you recall the first wine you tried? We used to be given a bit of wine with water from about the age of six or seven years old. As we got older the water became less and so we were weaned into table wine from an early age.
When did you fall in love with wine? After the third bottle of great Burgundy…but I fell in love with everything that night!
Do you remember that moment? What happened? I don’t really remember, but had lots of lawyers’ letters accusing me of all sorts of things.
What is your all-time favourite wine memory (other than a wine itself)? Standing in the vineyard at Romanee-Conti and being part of sharing a double magnum of 1865 Chateau Lafitte.
What is your ultimate food and wine match? Aged Semillon and fresh seafood caught locally.
Can you cook? If so, what is your ‘signature dish’? Not really when the specialty is vegemite on toast!
What do you do to relax away from the winery? I love to go to the beach or more recently, playing with my grandson and undoing all his parents’ good work.
What do you think is special about the Hunter Valley region? Nowhere else is like the Hunter. The conditions can be tough, but that builds character and initiative. The styles are fine and elegant, but have the ability to live in the bottle which is the hallmark of a great area.
Favourites - What is your favourite…
Book – why? Lord of the Rings – I read it every 10 years and read more into it each time. It’s the best adventure story ever written.
Movie – why? The Pawnbroker starring Rod Stieger. I saw it in 1967 and reckoned it contained the best acting I ever saw.
TV show – Vikings will take a lot of beating because of the little details being so accurate.
Time of day/night – why? Night then everyone can see as badly as me, and it has an inherent quietness and peace.
Sport – Earle Page College Armidale 2nd Grade Rugby League which I coached for two years. Rugby League, Rugby Union and cricket.
Beer – Light and cold and crisp, none of the over hopped craft beer rubbish. My all-time favourite is Anchor Steam out of San Francisco.