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The History of Cullen Wines

In the early days of 1965, Kevin and Diana embarked on a journey to explore new possibilities for their land. Lupins caught their attention, and they reached out to Dr John Gladstones, a senior lecturer at the University of Western Australia and an expert on lupins. Dr Gladstones had recently conducted significant research on the climate and soils of southwestern Australia in relation to vine growing, recognizing the region's resemblance to the finest wine-producing areas worldwide.

Inviting Dr Gladstones to their property in Wilyabrup during the spring of 1965, Kevin and Diana received much-needed affirmation for their wine-growing aspirations. Dr Gladstones, upon seeing their land, encouraged them by stating, "Oh, you're mad growing cattle and sheep, why don't you grow grapes?" Inspired by this remark and their own long-standing contemplation since 1956, Kevin and Diana decided to take action.

The Founding Years

In July 1966, Kevin organized a local meeting in Busselton, where Bill Jamieson from the Agricultural Department and Dr John Gladstones delivered insightful speeches. This meeting attracted over 100 attendees and generated considerable support. Despite Kevin's dedication to the Busselton Community, he and Diana were eager to conduct a test planting with vine cuttings obtained from the Swan River Research Station.

In 1966, they coordinated the initial vine planting in collaboration with friends and colleagues. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, while Kevin and Diana were away, the nascent vines were mistakenly sprayed with poison and subsequently uprooted without their knowledge.

Achievements and Expansion

Undeterred, Kevin and Diana embarked on a new vine-planting venture in 1971, this time on their own land in Wilyabrup, which serves as the current vineyard for Cullen Wines. In 1995, they expanded further by establishing the Mangan Vineyard, which follows biodynamic farming practices under the Cullen Estate's care. Both vineyards contribute exclusively to the Cullen vintages each year.

Cullen Wines achieved remarkable accolades in subsequent years. In 2005, the iconic Diana Madeline Cabernet Merlot earned the prestigious Langton's classification of "Exceptional," a distinction reserved for only 11 Australian wines. The Kevin John Chardonnay 2007 was awarded the World's Best Chardonnay at the 2010 Decanter World Wine Awards. Furthermore, the Diana Madeline 2009 received multiple awards, including Jeremy Oliver's Wine of the Year, Nick Stock's Best Cabernet Merlot blend, and Ray Jordan's Best Cabernet Merlot. In 2014, The Diana Madeline 2012 was honoured with James Halliday's award for Best Cabernet Blend in the James Halliday Wine Companion 2015.

A Legacy of Quality and Sustainability

Cullen Wines has evolved into an iconic winery known for its unwavering commitment to biodynamic viticulture. At every level of the business, Cullen Wines prioritizes quality, integrity, and sustainability, solidifying its reputation in the industry.

The Historical Connection

A lesser-known fact about the Cullen family is their long-standing association with winemaking in Western Australia, tracing back to the 1880s. Kevin Cullen's grandfather, Ephraim Mayo Clarke, acquired a small business and plot of land in Bunbury, Western Australia. He established a store and winery, successfully producing the famous 'Punchbowl' wine. The family shop distributed this wine locally and as far as the WA Goldfields. Kevin's mother, Elvie, and her nine siblings all contributed to the winery's operations. However, when Ephraim passed away, his son, who abstained from alcohol, left the vines untended, leading to their decline and eventual sale of the land.

Kevin Cullen himself grew up in Western Australia, pursuing medicine at the University of Western Australia, where he became the first recipient of a Doctorate of Medicine. During his studies in Melbourne, he met Diana Adams, a remarkable and accomplished student studying Physiotherapy. The couple married in 1946 and moved to Tasmania, where Diana's family enjoyed a prominent social presence. In response to Kevin's father's plea for a doctor in Busselton, Kevin and Diana relocated to Western Australia, starting their journey in the region in 1947.

Their family expanded over the years, with Rick, Shel, Stewart, Digby, Ariane, and finally, Vanya joining the Cullen family.

Discover Cullen Wines at The Reserve Cellar

Explore the remarkable wines crafted by Cullen Wines, embodying dedication, heritage, and sustainable viticulture. Visit The Reserve Cellar, your destination for exceptional Australian wines, and experience the essence of Cullen Wines' philosophy in every bottle.

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The Reserve Cellars. ABN 89621364994 Liquor License 196883. The Reserve Cellar supports the responsible service of alcohol. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. WARNING: Under the Liquor Act 1992, it is an offence to supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years (Penalty exceeds $6,000). for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $500).

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