Located up in the Hunter Valley in Polkobin is the family run Keith Tulloch Winery. It’s about 2 hours out of sydney and we arrive today for an invited day out at the winery. What you’re going to get if you spend a day here? A bit of an education in wine making, some great tastings; fantastic food from the Muse kitchen and then a pop in visit to Cocoa Nib Chocolates which is housed inside the Keith Tulloch Complex.
Keith Tulloch Winery is a family run business and on a tour of the vineyard today – and the family has been winemakers and vignerons since 1895. Here, Keith is talking about soil and climate and how it affects the grapes. Standing alongside him is son Alisdair.
The layout of the KTW is axial and down from the drive way, you’d be looking right down to the cellar door. The design is deliberate. This is where the magic of wine making happens and Amanda Tulloch wanted to center it – there’s french oak barrels, equipment to separate the vines from the grapes and also large steel stills for the white wines.
Keith showcasing the grape separator. There’s a couple of things going on here – with inner rod spinning counter to the outer drum – result being grapes pushed out and the leaves+twigs forced to the back half.
The cellar door is a temperature controlled space and inside sat large 600L barrels that held maturing wines. You’d get a taste of a developing red as Keith dips in and allows you a tasting. The large barrels store up to 600L of wine.
Back inside the main tasting builidng, There is a private Vinum Cellarium Lounge with nice settees and a country hampton feel. Here, you can have tastings in private. There is a selection of various bottles of dirt on display showcasing the differences in character in the blocks where the vines are grown and how these affecting character of wines and selection of planting.
The winery visit was matched with a spring luncheon with food prepared by Muse Kitchen – Its an fresh seasonal selection of pates, terrine, amazing spring salad (a surprise favourite that we couldn’t stop eating). Duck Pate was also amazing and you’ll have to tear yourself away from the pot.
Delicious Rieslings and Semillons.
Through the meal, We tasted a large range of the Keith Tulloch Wines, from the whites to rose and reds. Keith Tulloch has a family collection: The wife named after Amanda, The Kester, one named after Keith’s grand uncle and the Doctor, thus named after Keith’s dad Harry. These 3 reds are powerful and delicious wines. It also goes a long way to show provenance and the family run nature of the winery.
Cocoa Nib currently has a diverse range of chocolates and the shop is prepped for the Christmas trade with a selection of xmasy gift hampers and xmas chocolate treats. It should be noted that the chocolate slabs were heftier than expected – we’d seen similar at markets but they were thin in profile.
These chocolates were paired with a delicious Botrytis Semillon which was sweet and delicious. More info about this delicious dessert wine here: The flavours complemented the chocolates across the range. We were partial to the Sea Salt Caramels, French Lavender Honey and Kalamata Lime as they were just special.
Keith Tulloch Wine has a large and diverse collection of wines: There is the ‘Fields of Mars’ Collection, the ‘family’ collection, the ‘individual vineyard’ collection, ‘estate’ range and the perdiem range. The winery is a small batch wine maker and as is you won’t find them in your supermarkets or at your BWS/DanMurphys. The range is available online but the best bet is a drive out of Sydney and to spend a day out at the winery doing tastings and checking out the estate. We had a great time. Keith Tulloch Wines also has KTW wine club that all aficionados should look into – to start, its a free membeship and nets you a 20% discount. Really. Why not?
Keith Tulloch Wine
Corner of Hermitage & Deaseys Road
02 4998 7500