A Brief History
Winemaking began on the Cullen property in Margaret River more than 40 years ago. Studies in the early 1960's showed that Margaret River had some very special qualities. The climate was particularly suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. On the advice of eminent agronomist Dr John Gladstones, Dr. Kevin and Diana Cullen planted a trial acre of vines at Wilyabrup in 1966. The encouraging results of this led to the planting of 18 acres of vines on their sheep and cattle farm in 1971.
While Kevin Cullen supervised vineyard and winery activities, Diana Cullen was the sole winemaker until 1986, when she was joined by daughter Vanya, who assumed prime responsibility in 1989. In 2000, Vanya became the first woman and first West Australian to be awarded the Qantas Australian Winemaker of the Year. Vanya has also been awarded the UK Drinks Magazine "Woman of the Year" 2008 and "Green Personality of the Year" 2011 for her efforts in sustainability.
Since the Estate was planted, chemical intervention was minimal and the family's concern for the environment paramount. In 1998 the change to total organic viticulture was made. Diana and Vanya went intuitively towards healing the soil by putting back what had been taken out. As a result, the Cullen Vineyard gained A Grade Organic Certification in 2003, followed by A Grade Biodynamic Certification in 2004 (Vineyard) and 2008 (Winery) by the Biological Farmers Association of Australia.
In 2005, the iconic Diana Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot was elevated to the top Langton's classification category of "Exceptional", and in 2010 The Decanter World Wine Awards, presented Cullen Wines the top prize for it's 2007 Kevin John Chardonnay. The most recent of accolades is for the 2016 Diana Madeline, with a score of 18 points from Jancis Robinson and 2016 Kevin John with 97 points from Huon Hooke and Ray Jordan.
The Cullen Restaurant overlooks the historic vineyard. The building's unique construction from granite and timber, blends harmoniously with the surroundings and provides a relaxing place to enjoy a glass of wine, lunch or a coffee. In keeping with the organic/biodynamic philosophy in the vineyard, all food in the restaurant is prepared using fresh, biodynamic and organic produce and is sourced from our own garden and select local producers.
Cullen Wines extend to you an invitation to stay in their Homestead. In all it contains six bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large living area with a large stone fireplace. Visitors have the opportunity wandering over to the Cullen Winery for a tasting or lunch. The Homestead also has the advantage of being located in the heart of the wine growing subregion of Wilyabrup, only 15 minutes by road from the beach at Gracetown, Cowaramup Bay, the township of Cowaramup and is only 20 minutes from Margaret River town.