John Tulloch was brought up in the Fordwich area on the Tulloch vineyard and felt he had no reason to leave, knowing what he wanted to do even before he attended high school. He left the Hunter Valley for a little while to attend Agriculture College in Tamworth, but always came home for holidays. Despite his father (unusually) wanting him to work outside the business, at BHP, Tulloch stuck to his desire and carried on the family tradition. His time-honoured approach to viticulture has proven successful and widely acclaimed.
Tulloch’s answer about what he has learnt: “Wine is made in the vineyards. By this, I mean the vineyard has the biggest influence on the end result. If you don’t get that right, the rest won’t be right – the whole culture in the ground counts.
The old ideas are often the best, if you try and retain the best of the old ways and not just improve as a matter of course, because of course, costs have to be taken into consideration. The cost of keeping up with modern technology can be prohibitive to the smaller grower – for example, the price of a machine harvester now, which now still does much the same job, has exploded compared to what is was when we first used one in 1975. And labour for hand-picking can be hard to find and relatively expensive when you employ people for just a couple of weeks a year, outside the towns. As the price of grapes is more or less fixed, production is the only area you could make more efficient, but the end quality still depends on the vineyard.”
John Tulloch was inducted as a Legend in 2007.