Not only is this the largest biodiverse reforestation carbon sink project in Australia, but recently it was awarded the prestigious Premium Gold Standard certification by the Geneva-based Gold Standard Foundation, becoming the only project in Australia to have done so
The certification took project managers Carbon Neutral two years to prepare for, and eight months to be assessed by an independent international auditor, Rainforest Alliance, to pass the stringent qualifications.
‘Vanya and her team set a new benchmark in their dedication to the environment,’ said Kent, Executive Director of Carbon Neutral. ‘They have a strong history of matching their carbon offsets, and when you consider this is all done on a voluntary basis, the achievement is all the more impressive. They are one of the first companies to support the Gold Standard project, and certainly the first winery in Australia to do so.’]
As far back as 1971 when Cullen Wines was first established in Wilyabrup, they believed in minimal intervention. In 1998 they became totally organic, and 2003 they achieved their A Grade Organic Certification, before being certified A Grade Biodynamic in 2004 under Chief Winemaker and Managing Director Vanya Cullen. In addition to being 100% carbon neutral (in both production and products) and water self-sufficient, they are also solar powered up to 40% through their own panels and the remainder through Synergy Natural Power, which is generated via solar and wind renewable sources.
‘We are so lucky to be in such a beautiful location here in WA, and the wonderful soil gives us our extraordinary wines, so it important for us to know we are caring for the earth and doing no harm in what we do. It’s become a way of life for us,’ Vanya says. ‘We are very excited that other wineries are also choosing to become Carbon Neutral as this is a significant commitment and we applaud their efforts.’
Cullen Wines flagship wine, the 2013 Diana Madeline, was this year named by wine critic James Halliday as the winner of the ‘Best of the Other Reds’ category and achieved a score of 98 points out of 100. Their most recent release, the 2012 Vanya Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded 99 points in November 2015, proving that quality does not have to be compromised to also care for the environment.