Episode 365 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently. It features Bruce Tyrrell of Tyrrell’s Wines, the winery based in the Hunter Valley of Australia’s New South Wales.
The Hunter Valley was one of the first Australian regions to be planted with grapevines, almost 200 years ago, and in a way befitting that history, Bruce Tyrrell offers up a sweeping interview that goes across the decades of the modern Australian wine industry with ease and first person insight. This interview is full of personality in its anecdotes, whether they be about the uncle who liked to kill snakes with his bare hands, the pub culture of Sydney, or the early disappointments of trying to sell wine in Manhattan. Along the way, the history of Australian wine is recounted. Few people could have told this story the way Bruce tells it, and instead of just learning about the production of one winery, the listener is brought through into another world. Some of what we hear is perhaps not what outsiders are often exposed to, for example the rough words and public shaming that surrounded the issue of Brettanomyces in the Hunter Valley. But this isn’t all a general history, there are also specifics to Tyrrell’s winery in this episode, such as the secret decision to age the Vat 1 Semillon for several years before releasing the wine to great critical esteem. And the winemaking that seperates that wine from the run of the white wines from elsewhere in the world. All in, this is a unique look at a pivotal region for Australian wine, and at a wine that went about becoming one of the most lauded from that place. Those open to hearing about something different from the world of wine will enjoy.
This episode also contains a Warm Up from Erin all about Semillon.
I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine