Keith and Amanda formed this wine business in 1997, first producing ‘The Kester’ Shiraz in the vintage of 1998. Building on the success of this wine, Hunter Semillon was put to glass for the first time from the 2000 harvest. Hunter Valley Chardonnay was made for the first time in 2001. Keith had a wealth of winemaking experience from his time working across the Australian and international winemaking industry, as well as access to top-quality fruit from Hunter Valley vineyards. Now he could make premium wine under his own name, with his own philosophy.
The quality of these releases was lauded by James Halliday, who wrote: “I cannot remember being more impressed with an initial release of wines than I was with those under the Keith Tulloch label. The only problem is the small scale of their production, like that of Jeffrey Grosset in his early days. There is the same almost obsessive attention to detail, the same almost ascetic intellectual approach, the same refusal to accept anything but the best.”
During these early years Keith made the wines in a leased winery space. With Amanda, the wines were marketed from their home office. It was only in 2005 when they opened their tasting room at 972 Hermitage Road, upstairs in the former ‘Hunter Ridge’ winery; Keith Tulloch Wines were available to the public for the first time. Whilst the popularity of Keith Tulloch Wine grew, Keith and Amanda had their sights set on their very own vineyard, winery and cellar door estate. Plans were made to take the wine business to the next level.
The ‘Field of Mars’ vineyard at 989 Hermitage Road was purchased in 2008, followed by the construction of a 150-ton state of the art winemaking facility, cellar door and restaurant that opened to the public in September 2011.
Since 2011 we have made our range of Hunter Valley and NSW wines from the iconic vineyard and winery estate on Hermitage Road. Here guests can enjoy sampling the wines overlooking the vineyards that make some of our top single block and single vineyard wines. Whilst Keith Tulloch Wine has grown, we are still a family owned vineyard and winery. This means we have the freedom to make wines with a unique stamp of personality, power and integrity. This is done away from the mainstream, and with an individual style and flair.
Today Keith continues to work with his now happily retired father at our Estate, and with his wife Amanda as General Manager. Two of his children, Alisdair and Jessica, work in wine production and event management respectively. The ultimate goal is to work as a family to produce the best possible fruit for our wines, in a sustainable and ecological way.
The ethic continues to be ‘good, better, best’.
In the vineyard, this means we hold dear to the farmer’s mandate. We continually improve the land we own and surpass the standards we set ourselves, producing better results each year.
For the winery, this means we explore and engage with new production ideas, trial new concepts and techniques in the winery each vintage, and experiment in the cellar to find new and exciting elements of character and style. In every way the objective is to improve the breed. Therefore we are very mindful, at all times, of preserving the best of the region’s traditions.
The result? Wines that are at the same time concentrated and elegant, subtle and expressive, cerebral and hedonistic.