In 1965, Kevin and Diana Cullen were exploring other uses for their land besides the raising of cattle and sheep. Their land is in Wilyabrup in the Margaret River region. Their friendship with Dr John Gladstones proved helpful. Dr Gladstone is an expert in soil management and crop production at the University of Western Australia. He had identified Margaret River as an ideal spot for the growing of grapes. This is due to climatic similarities with some of the best wine regions in the world, such as Bordeaux. In 1966, Kevin and Diana, along with some of their friends, decided to plant some test vines. Unfortunately they were poisoned due to a misunderstanding, whilst Kevin and Diana were away. In 1971 they started again, this time using their own land. Those vines are still there today. In 1995 an adjacent plot of land was planted, named the Mangan Vineyard. The vineyard is farmed biodynamically, and both vineyards are used exclusively for Cullen wines. In 1989, Vanya Cullen, Kevin and Diana’s daughter, was appointed Chief Winemaker. She has continued her parents’ interest in experimentation by investigating the soil and different trellis techniques for the vines.
Cullen produce one of Australia’s best cabernet merlot blends. Named Diana Madeline in honour of the brand’s founding winemaker. This wine has consistently received stellar reviews from wine critics. This is due to its depth, richness and length, allowing it to cellar for decades. In addition to the reds, Cullen is known for its superb chardonnays, such as the Kevin John. As well as the Kevin John Legacy series, from low-yielding vines, which can be cellared for at least 15 years. For the budget-conscious, Cullen also produce a range of reds, rosés and whites, with evocative titles such as ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’, ‘Dancing in the Sun’, and ‘Amber’.
For more information on Cullen and their wines check out their website.