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Murray Tyrrell
, 1978 (printed 2003)

by Jon Lewis

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 50.6 cm x 60.6 cm, image: 35.2 cm x 52.6 cm)

Murray Tyrrell AM (1921- 2000) was a winemaker who transformed his family winery from a supplier of bulk wines to other firms into a leading wine brand. Tyrrell, who took over Tyrrell Wines in 1959, was an outspoken champion of the Hunter Valley winegrowing region and of wine tourism in the area. He created one of Australia's first commercial chardonnays, and was instrumental in popularising both chardonnay and pinot noir. An infamous incident in 1967 saw Tyrrell jump a barb- wire fence to 'liberate' chardonnay cuttings from an experimental vineyard owned by Penfolds, which he grafted onto his own vine rootstock. Tyrrell's Vat 47 launched in 1971 remains a first-rate chardonnay, while in 1979 he won the Gault Milleau Award for the World's Finest Pinot Noir at the Wine Olympiad in Paris.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2003
Accession number: 2003.42