The Australian wine industry lost a dear friend and a great bloke this week.
A much-loved member of the Australian wine and liquor retail community, Pullen devoted almost 30 years of his career and commitment to family-owned fine wine merchants, Samuel Smith & Son before his retirement in 2015.
Joining Samuel Smith & Son in 1986 as sales manager, Pullen was promoted to Victorian state manager in 1988. He moved to Sydney to assume the role of state manager from 1992 to 1998, national sales manager and NSW general manager in 2012 until his retirement.
His tireless contribution to the Samuel Smith & Son business was acknowledged when he became a signatory of the 2005 vintage of Yalumba’s The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz. Each vintage release of The Signature the Hill-Smith family pay tribute to one person’s outstanding contribution to the business and the family.
Pullen is remembered as a kind, generous man with a warm nature and smile to match. He was a mad rugby union fanatic and as honorary vice president of Bondi Icebergs where he would often be taking in the view over Bondi Beach while enjoying a glass of wine in the company of friends.
His joy was working in the wine industry, where he made lifelong friends, travelled the world and was renowned for his unwavering support of independent retailers.
Tributes have poured in via social media where industry friends and colleagues share their memories with many posting ‘one of the truly good guys’, ‘a great bloke’ and ‘a true gentleman’.
Long term friend and colleague, Ralph Dunning, Chair of the Drinks Association, offered his condolences on behalf of the Drinks Association Board. Pullen was previously a Board Director of the Drinks Association.
“Such a sad day. RIP Greggy. A true gentleman who inspired and led many from the front,” posted Dunning.
Former CEO of The Drinks Association, Sandra Przibilla wrote, “A terrific mate and wonderful friend. A great loss to us all. A toast to you, my friend. Your signature wine is drinking well.”
General Manager of Liquorstax, Guy Bohan said, “We have lost a wine industry legend in Greg.”
Liquor retailer and former general manager of Porter’s Liquor, Giuseppe Minissale said
Greg was a fierce supporter of the independents.
“He was a champion of the Liquor Stores Association, the independent retailers and of Porter’s. If you had a good idea he would back you all the way.
“There are not many great industry people like him that come along. He got involved in everything and was a powerful figure,” remembers Minissale .
Rest in peace Greg Pullen you will be sorely missed.