The new Tulloch and its great wines

For many years J.Y. Tulloch & Sons Pty Ltd had the largest family vineyard in the Hunter Valley. They were one of the four original families that survived the 1930s depression that wiped out most wineries.

The story begins with John Younie Tulloch, the prosperous Scottish Methodist, who owned the general store in Branxton as well as grazing interests. He probably needed to be as he had a large family that included nine children.

In an extraordinary business transaction, Tulloch accepted a 20-hectare vineyard at Glen Elgin in satisfaction of an overdue debt.

This neglected vineyard had not made wine for over a year, so he sought advice from the NSW Department of Agriculture. His initial work producing dry red wines was encouraging and he moved his family from Branxton to Glen Elgin - wine had became his way of life.

Following John Younie's death in 1940, his son Hector took over as managing director. During the 1950s he developed the famous Pokolbin Dry Red and Hunter River White labels.

In 1965 Hector Tulloch died and in 1969 the company was sold to Reed Consolidated Publishing. Multiple ownership changes occurred, with eventual ownership by SA Brewing in 1992 - this company was then renamed Southcorp Wines.

Hector's son, Jay Tulloch, remained as GM of Southcorp's Hunter Valley operations but retired in 1996 to start, with his wife Julia, their own boutique operation - the JYT Wine Company.

In 2001 the opportunity arose to buy back the old family company from Southcorp.

With interest from long-term friends and business associates, the historical name of Tulloch is back with the family.

The highly successful Angove family has a financial interest in Tulloch and is their national distributor.

Tulloch Verdelho 2008 ($16) - I like the verdelho grape but there are not many wineries that make good wines from it: the best are to be found in the Hunter Valley and this is my favourite.

It has won the Best Verdelho Trophy at the 2008 Hunter Valley Wine Show.

It is pale straw colour with heaps of tropical fruit flavours and citrus and a beautiful finish.

As a five-star rated winery for the past three years in James Halliday Australian Wine Companion, Tulloch wines have to be above the ordinary.

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