Wither Hills and Tyrrell’s from LionCo


Lion is one of the major operators of making and distributing alcoholic beverages in the country, The wine portfolio is very strong, owning such brands as Lindauer and Le Brun, Corbans and Saints, and arguably the jewel in the crown being Wither Hills. Wither Hill was established in 1994 by Brent Marris and joined with his father’s vineyard holdings in 1999. The growth and success of the brand in all market channels was truly astounding. The company was purchased by Lion Nathan for $52 mil in 2002. Today, Wither Hills remains a very significant brand, focussing on Marlborough varietals, owning or managing around 400 ha, with the ‘Rarangi’, ‘Taylor River’ and ‘Benmorven’ sites deemed special, and single vineyard wines made from them. Wither Hills is based in the Southern Valleys where they operate a 10,000 tonne capacity modern winery of which 60-70% goes into the ‘Wither Hills’ label. There is also an excellent restaurant and cellar door. Matt Large is the winemaker, with the company since 2010, and Samantha Scarratt is the viticulturist. www.witherhills.co.nz

Lion distribute a large number of brands that give their portfolio a completeness. Recently they added the famous Hunter Valley family-owned range of Tyrrell’s. Established in Pokiolbin in 1858, the company is headed by fourth generation Bruce Tyrrell, but fifth generation family members are already fully involved. Tyrrell’s are best-known for their unique range of Hunter Valley wines, especially in Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz with the ‘Vat’ wines as flagships, but there are a multitude of regional and value offerings. Tyrrell’s have 106 ha of vineyards in the Hunter Valley, and this is supplemented by 26 ha in Heathcote in Victoria. www.tyrrells.com.au

Here I review a selection of the latest Wither Hills releases, along with two Tyrrell’s Shiraz wines.


  • Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018
  • Wither Hills Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018
  • Wither Hills Marlborough Chardonnay 2017
  • Wither Hills Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016
  • Tyrrell’s ‘Old Winery’ Shiraz 2016
  • Tyrrell’s Hunter Valley Shiraz 2014

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