Galafrey Wines -A Personal Story- Australian Wine

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Galafrey Wines remains a family-owned business and all wines are grown, nurtured and bottled on the estate in Mount Barker WA. Established by Ian Tyrer (1946-2003). Galafrey Wines is survived by mother and daughter team, Linda and Kim Tyrer. Linda and Kim maintain a hands-on role to ensure that the Galafrey philosophy is upheld.


When Ian Tyrer first moved to Mount Barker to set up Galafrey Wines he made an agreement with his Melbourne-born wife Linda. He said after six months he would ask her if she liked what they were doing and if she did not they would move back east. He never asked that question!

Ian and linda looked for a suitable block for a vineyard all over WA sampling soils before choosing a site 10km west of Mount Barker. They dug so many holes it's a wonder the state doesn't leak!
Ian and Linda were among the early pioneers of the great southern region. At the time Ian had no experience in grape production or winemaking but that didn't stop him from succeeding in his dream of creating Galafrey. Their vineyard being established in 1977 followed by the birth of the daughter Kim in 1978
At the time Ian's weight was only 65kg but after splitting every jarrah post on the vineyard his weight quickly grew and stayed at 90kgs due to the physically demanding job. In the early days the development of Galafrey was a financial battle with labour substituted for dollars.
"If we could not afford something we had to go and make it and we needed time to gain experience. We had empty pockets and sore backs." said Ian.
"Remembering back to 1977, arriving in Mount Barker four months pregnant, a truck load of furniture, a few thousand grape cuttings- naive but starry-eyed, full of enthusiasm. I have to smile thinking about the TV show 'Real Sea Change'- seems we were 30 years ahead of our time. Leaving our secure well-paid jobs in the computer industry to be pioneers in the Mount Barker wine Industry.
I think we have experienced almost everything you can in the wine industry over the last 30 years. Hail that wiped out 1989 crop, floods, snow, droughts, the dreaded vegetable weevil, snails, locust, birds. Cyclone Alby and lots of tail ends of cyclone that dump huge amounts of rain right in the middle of vintage. Not to mention the dominance of liquor store market and the famous wine glut" quote Linda Tyrer
In 1984 Galafrey moved to Albany in an 80 yr old wool store on the foreshore where the winery had a surplus amount of space. In 1992 the winery was moved back to Mount Barker to a purpose built shed. Delays caused the move to coincide with vintage and as grapes were coming in one door, tanks were coming in the other. In 1997 the cellar door sales was moved from Albany to the Mount Barker property as more and more people started to visit the region. 

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Thursday, 27 February 2020
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