Iconic Hunter Valley winery Tulloch Wines has been put on the market, after the board recently passed a motion for the sale of the brand and business.
The sale is driven by the upcoming retirement and exit of several individual shareholders, which means the namesake Tulloch family cannot control the business alone. CEO and fourth generation family member Christina Tulloch said she looks forward to the next part of the company’s story.
“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,” Christina said.
“Tulloch is a highly successful company, and I am confident we will be able to find investors 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 Tulloch family is immensely proud of the business we have built and the incredible successes we have achieved.”
The sale will include the Tulloch Wines brand and its assets, with an award winning Cellar Door, café and events space; 20 acres of Pokolbin real estate and vineyard; other grower agreements; national bottle shop ranging; a wine club; and a packaged liquor license. The sale does not include winemaking facilities, as Tulloch Wines are not made on-site.
“In the meantime, it will be very much business as usual and there will be no change to the dedicated, expert, and professional service our guests have come to know and love from the team here at cellar door. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to lead this wonderful team into the future,” Christina said.
According to the Australian Financial Review, price expectations are in excess of $10 million. The process will be managed by Toby Langley at Langley & Co.
The sale will mark the next stage of a busy 126 years for Tulloch Wines. The story began when John Younie (J. Y.) Tulloch owned the Branxton General Store and accepted an unusual settlement for a debt – a 43 acre property in Pokolbin, with five acres of neglected Shiraz vines. By the 1920s, J.Y. was the largest vigneron in the Hunter, and then named the company J.Y. Tulloch & Sons. After his passing in 1940, his eldest son Hector took over, further developing the Tulloch brand.
In 1969 the brand was sold outside the family for the first time, and it remained out of family ownership until 2001. In that period the brand suffered through many ownership changes, but was able to see the Tulloch family represented through Hector’s son Jay as General Manager from 1973 – 1996.
In 2001, when the opportunity rose for the family to buy back J.Y. Tulloch & Sons from Southcorp Wines (which went on to become Treasury Wine Estates), Jay and long term friends and business associates bought the company back into Tulloch ownership. Since then, the Tulloch brand has been reinvigorated to its current position as one of the most successful wine businesses in the Hunter, and now has two fourth generation family members at the helm, with Christina Tulloch as CEO and Justina Tulloch as New Markets and Export Manager.
“The current board of investors and the management team have enjoyed a highly successful and profitable partnership over the last 20 years that has seen us revive our family brand back to its status as one of the Hunter Valley’s most loved and visited wine icons,” said Christina.
“As the last year has shown our position in the centre of Australia’s most visited wine region means we still have a very significant, untapped customer opportunity.
“We are therefore extremely excited about the prospect of welcoming ambitious new investors keen to work with the Tulloch family and our exceptional team to innovate and diversify via new physical and virtual wine, food and tourism products and experiences that we believe will convert to further significant growth over the next three to five years.”