In 1971, they made the decision to plant vines on the land, having taken the advice of Dr John Gladstones and undertaken considerable research themselves in their overseas travels.
In only the second year of production, Diana’s efforts were recognised with her riesling being awarded a gold medal at the Melbourne Wine Show. In 1977 she won best wine at the Canberra Wine Show and in 1982 she made history as the first woman to win a trophy at the Perth Royal Show. She honed her winemaking skills by reading, learning from others and from the extensive travel she and Kevin undertook across Australia, the US and Europe, picking up tips and ideas everywhere they went. Diana’s dedication paid off and she continued to win awards and accolades for her outstanding wine, becoming Cullen’s chief winemaker in 1981until daughter Vanya took over in 1989.
Kevin always had a great love of Cabernet Sauvignon and constantly referred to its need to have a steely backbone and they purchased many great wines from Bordeaux during their travels to obtain a clear image of the direction that their wine should take.