Biodynamic winery Cullen Wines has just been named Australia’s top winery of 2020 by national wine alliance The Real Review, beating more than 400 listed wineries across the country.
The Real Review reviews approximately 10,000 wines from Australia and New Zealand each year. Their Australia’s Top Wineries list recognises wineries that consistently produce excellent wines and in 2020 listed 415 Australian wineries.
Celebrating 50 years next year, Cullen is a family owned and operated winery in Wilyabrup, and make all of its wines from biodynamic vines. The Real Review praised Cullen’s acute attention to detail and worldly understanding of quality in producing stand-out wines such as their 2018 Kevin John Chardonnay and 2018 Diana Madeline. Adding a personal touch, the wines pay homage to winemaker Vanya Cullen’s parents, who planted the first vines in Wilyabrup back in 1966 before going on to establish what is now Cullen Estate in 1971.
Last year, Vanya was also named Winemaker of the Year by James Halliday, a significant step in bringing biodynamic winemaking into mainstream viticulture.
“It’s always very surprising and humbling to be acknowledged by your peers. James giving that award was wonderful because it also acknowledges the role of biodynamic in quality winemaking.”
Both their winery and on-site restaurant are biodynamic and carbon positive – the only vineyard that can make the claim in the region. Vanya says that the secret behind their delicious wines lies in the power of the moon and a deep respect for the land and its traditional custodians, the Wadandi people.
“It means a lot to us to acknowledge the Wadandi people, who ran sustainable systems on the land here for thousands of years before we planted.”
“It’s about going back to how people used to farm before the industrial revolution and introduction of chemicals, when people recognised that the moon has an influence on the land and growth. We can see its tangible effects on the tides, and have done lots of trials to show how when you plant at certain times in the moon cycle, you get a better crop,” Vanya emphasised.
You can taste their award-winning wines for yourself at their Biodynamic Carbon Positive Wine Room, open for seated tastings 7 days a week. Their restaurant is open from Friday to Tuesday, with some of the produce served sourced from their biodynamic veggie garden out the back.
See the full list of WA wineries named in The Real Review here.