Vanya Cullen receives double Viticulturist of the Year honours
Congratulations to Vanya Cullen, who has received two top accolades recognising her sustainable viticulture - a remarkable feat that Vanya acknowledges is something of a rarity and a first at Cullen Wines since achieving biodynamic certification in 2004.
Vanya has been awarded the Outstanding Viticulturist title at this year's prestigious delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards. Now in their 16th year, the Awards celebrate Australia's best ingredients "grown, caught, sourced or produced with dedication, passion, knowledge and regard for the environment." Vanya says: "I am thrilled that our efforts towards sustainable wine growing here at Cullen have been recognised in this light. It’s so important now to action the climate change crisis through sustainable land care.”
This follows hot on the heels of Vanya winning the inaugural Viticulturist of the Year at the 2022 Halliday Wine Companion Awards, as “the individual whose wines in this year’s Companion most fully exemplify best practice in the vineyard.”
Judges Erin Larkin and Tyson Stelzer commented that Vanya "possesses a deeply emotional connection with her vines and her land like nobody else. This symbiosis has nurtured a set of benchmark wines that stand proud among the greatest in Australia’s modern era, proving that by placing the health and vitality of the vines and soil first, greatness can only follow", adding that "as Australia’s most vocal proponent of biodynamics, Vanya Cullen has led a charge of producers who now proudly grow grapes and make wine biodynamically."
These awards coincide with Cullen Wines’ 50-year anniversary celebrations - marking half a century since
planting their first Cabernet vines - with Vanya noting that "it’s 50 years of sustainable wine growing
preceded by 65,000 years of Wadandi sustainable land care.” Since 1971 when the Cullen Estate was
planted, chemical intervention was minimal and the family’s concern for the environment paramount.
Cullen Wines has been organic and certified biodynamic for more than 20 years and is the only ‘carbon
positive’ winery in Australia, achieving certification in 2019.