About This Vineyard
In the early 1960’s detailed climatic studies of various regions in Southwestern Australia revealed that during the winegrowing season, Margaret River’s climate was similar to that of Bordeaux, particularly Pomerol. The conclusion that Margaret River was ideal for viticulture was first tested in Wilyabrup in 1966, when Diana and Kevin Cullen planted a trial acre of vines. The encouraging results led to the couple planting 18 acres of vines on their sheep and cattle farm in 1971.
Cullen Wines, while remaining family owned, has since evolved making quality organic wine from biodynamically grown grapes sourced exclusively from The Cullen Estate Vineyard and Mangan Vineyard. These vineyards bristle with health, the soil looks moist, brown and alive and this in a region experiencing its worst drought in 130 years this vintage. Apparently biodynamically farmed soils hold 20% moisture than those farmed by other methods (which is why it is particularly appropriate for drought prone regions) and it certainly looks that way.
The vines are green and exuberant and the fruit tastes sweet, intense and perfectly balanced. Neighbouring vineyards just across the fence don’t have the same energy about them, the soils are greyer and there is a slightly weary air to the hot vines. Vanya Cullen, the winemaker, speaks about the natural balance which is a feature of biodynamically grown fruit. There is no need to adjust in the winery at all because acids, sugars and tannins are all perfectly pitched at the initial production stage on the vine.