To produce the Chardonnay “Kevin John” Wilyabrup Cullen the bunches were hand harvested, whole-bunch, basket-pressed and the juice racked to barrel. One parcel of fruit was fermented in amphorae before maturing in puncheons. The wine underwent 100% natural malolactic conversion and spent a total of eight months in French oak (a combination of puncheons and a single barrique), of which 30% was new. The wine had minimal bentonite fining and no filtering or cold stabilisation.
This wine was named after Kevin John Cullen, a pioneer of the Margaret River wine region. Together with his wife Diana, they planted the first Cabernet Sauvignon in Wilyabrup, located just 20 kilometres north of Margaret River township. All the Chardonnay grapes were grown in three separate blocks in Cullen’s own vineyards where the vines are more than 30 years old, having been planted in 1976 and 1988. Aspect is mostly level or southerly and the soils are old granite and sandy loam. Winemaker Vanya feels that her conversion to biodynamic viticulture has given better fruit, the character of which she has preserved during the winemaking process.
Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. In 2019, celebrating 30 years at the helm, Vanya received double Winemaker of the Year honours at both the Australian Women in Wine Awards and the Halliday Wine Companion Awards.