Historical Hunter Valley winery Tulloch Wines is for sale.
CEO Christina Tulloch says she has “mixed feelings” about the sale. She hopes the Tulloch family can continue to drive the brand with the right owners.
“This situation is due to the upcoming retirement and exit of several individual shareholders who are seeking to resolve their personal business interests, and therefore cannot be controlled by the Tulloch family alone,” Christina said.
“And while exit planning of this sort can be a complex process, I am confident and excited about the opportunity we now have to continue Tulloch Wines’ 126-year legacy in the Hunter Valley.
“Tulloch is a highly successful company and I am confident we will be able to find new owners who respect our history and tradition and see the value and potential of further growth.
“I and all the team here at Tulloch look forward to being a part of the next phase of this great Australian brand’s story.”
The sale includes the cellar door, Tulloch brand and a small vineyard. There is no winery. The wine is made at First Creek Winemaking Services.
Tulloch Wines has three main shareholders including the Tulloch family and Angove Family Winemakers, along with several smaller ones.
Christina says Tulloch Wines has an “incredibly successful business model”.
“When we bought Tulloch back in 2001 it was run down but we have built it back up into an incredible business,” she said.
“I would love to see somebody who can come in and continue that. I think Tulloch Wines is always going to work best with a Tulloch involved, and a Tulloch driving it.
“I have some big ideas on what we can do with the brand and the space in Pokolbin, so somebody who wants to take it to the next level, keeping all of our team employed, doing what we do best… that would be a wonderful outcome.”
Tulloch Wines is one of the few wineries in Australia specialising in Verdelho, producing six different styles of wine.
“Verdelho has been the basis of the brand for a really long time,” Christina said.
“It enjoys national distribution, it’s widely available and it’s the way people are introduced to the Tulloch brand a lot of the time.
“Verdelho sales are better than ever; we’ve always known consumers love it.”
Tulloch Wines has had a chequered history in terms of ownership. It goes back to 1895 when John Younie Tulloch – Christina’s great, great grandfather owned the Branxton General Store and accepted an unusual settlement for a debt – a 43-acre property in nearby Pokolbin containing five acres of neglected Shiraz vines.
In 1969 J.Y. Tulloch & Sons Pty Ltd was sold to Reed Consolidated Industries & Publishing Company from the UK.
In 1973 Jay Tulloch became general manager and 60 percent of the business was sold to Gilbey’s Australia. The remaining 40 percent was sold to Gilbey’s in 1976.
Penfolds Wines bought the business in 1985 and in 1992 SA Brewing bought Penfolds and became Southcorp.
In 1996 Jay left Southcorp and founded the JYT Wine Co. with wife Julia. It was the first time in more than 100 years that there was no Tulloch family involvement in the business.
Southcorp chose to divest Tulloch (and Hungerford HiIl) after the purchase of Rosemount in 2001 because it had ample exposure to the Hunter via Rosemount and Lindemans.
The Tulloch family bought the winery back. Christina has been with the company for 17 years and CEO for nine years.
For further information about the sale contact Toby Langley at Langley & Co.