13/01/2004 - 21:00


13/01/2004 - 21:00


Save articles for future reference.

ENJOYING a bottle of 1993 Pol Roger Blanc de Blanc at a campsite in Nornalup was the perfect way to see in the New Year.


ENJOYING a bottle of 1993 Pol Roger Blanc de Blanc at a campsite in Nornalup was the perfect way to see in the New Year.

A few weeks’ camping, far away from the constraints of time and technology, was just the tonic for this frazzled wine scribe, although for a time it made returning to the ‘real’ world of work a bit of a slog. But after opening up and tasting through a collection of samples I was soon reminded that life isn’t all that tough.

For those of you still in a festive mood, Mt Barker is the place to be this weekend. Producers in this popular Great Southern town are holding their D’Vine wine festival on Saturday January 17. 

It will be a great opportunity to meet with producers and sample their wares. And don’t miss the opportunity to secure a ticket in the Ian Tyrer commemorative raffle.

Towards the end of last year the wine community lost one its more colourful characters in Ian Tyrer. I have always had a particular soft spot for the gruff yet jovial and generous winemaker, as it was he who gave me my start in the Western Australian wine industry.

Mr Tyrer was a spirited man with high personal expectations. He was an achiever with a well-developed playful streak, a jovial laugh and cheeky smile often appearing from under his bushy beard.

His hospitality, his wardrobe of shorts, his frustration with my tractor driving skills, and his willingness for a beer are some of my fondest memories of a man who was undoubtedly one of the great characters of the State’s wine industry.

In later stages of his illness he had to make a regular 120-kilometre round trip to Albany Hospital to undergo ultrasound treatment for his condition, as the local Mount Barker hospital doesn’t have an ultrasound.

The car trip was exhausting for Mr Tyrer. It drained him of all his energy.

Mr Tyrer’s wife, Linda, and daughter, Kim, have established a fund to raise $25,000 to buy an ultrasound machine for the Mount Barker Hospital.

To this end the wine industry has taken up the challenge in the form of the Ian Tyrer commemorative raffle.

Nearly 60 dozen wines have been donated by wineries from all regions.

The raffle will be drawn at the D’Vine Mount Barker Wine Festival on Saturday January 17.

We all knew Ian Tyrer of Galafrey Wines as a true character of the wine industry and his passing has left quite a gap.

His illness also highlighted the gaps in the rural health service.

The team at Plantagenet has organised the raffle by simply telling wineries that: “Good vintages come to those who are generous”. (Bev Gilbert from Gilberts wine wanted to donate three cases after we told her this.)

For further details on the raffle or to purchase a book of tickets (each ticket is only $2 and only donations are tax deductible) call Rose or Mandy at Plantagenet Wines on 9851 2150.


Subscription Options