What is your job?
I am the operations manager at Keith Tulloch Wine in the Hunter Valley, overseeing the management of the vineyard and winery. I have also overseen our sustainability initiatives since 2017, which includes our soil health program, our biodiversity program and our carbon neutrality.
So what was the main drive behind creating a carbon-neutral business model?
Grapes and wine are inextricably linked to the notion of terroir – they represent place including the soils, the aspect, the sunlight and of course the climate. Each vintage of wine is a snapshot into the region, capturing all the seasons, the rain, the drought, the hot and the cold. We feel a great responsibility to make sure that we don’t influence the climate that so greatly influences us as farmers.
How did the opportunities and experiences you had in your hometown help you get to where you are?
I’ve grown up in a grape growing family and region – I know firsthand how profoundly the changing climate has affected wine and what the future risks are. It’s shaped my respect for the natural environment and empowered me to make these changes.
What advice do you have for rural young people?
To push the boundaries and break new ground is rewarding but also difficult – don’t get pulled back into old habits or methods by people who are resistant to change. Win them over with results and they will follow.