The Cullen Award For Excellence

Cullen Award 2 (3)

Honouring the Legacy of
Diana Madeline and Kevin John Cullen


* Bookings are now open for the 2019 Cullen Award for Excellence, to be held on Saturday June 1st. Visit here to buy tickets.

In 2016 Cullen Wines commemorated their 45th year of producing wines in Wilyabrup, Margaret River, and proudly introduced the inaugural Cullen Award for Excellence.

This award honours the contribution made to Western Australian wine by Dr Kevin John Cullen and Diana Madeline Cullen, who together founded Cullen Wines in 1971. They had an unwavering belief in the potential of WA to produce world class wines and were dedicated to achieving this and helping others in the industry to do the same, by sharing their knowledge and support.

In Association with Wines of Western Australia and the WA Wine Press Club, and supported by the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association and the Margaret River Wine Association, The Cullen Award for Excellence was created to recognize and reward individuals, companies or institutions from anywhere in the world, who contribute in a positive way towards promoting the Western Australian Wine Industry under the individual banners of Quality, Integrity or Sustainability.

2017 Cullen Award For Excellence

Margaret River wine region pioneer Dr John Gladstones
accepts the 2017 Cullen Award For Excellence

Libby Mettam, Dr John Gladstones, Vanya Cullen and James Halliday

Saturday July 22nd saw a crowd of close to 100 guests turn out in their black tie and evening wear to celebrate this year’s Award dinner and presentation.

The highlight of the evening was the announcement of this year’s recipient, Dr John Gladstones, who humbly accepted the honour to a standing ovation from the room. Dr Gladstones is credited with being the first to recognise the potential of Margaret River as an ideal wine growing region, with similar soil and climactic conditions to Bordeaux.

On July 21st 1966 Dr Kevin Cullen organised a town meeting, inviting Bill Jamieson of the Department of Agriculture in Perth to attend, and Dr Gladstones to speak about his findings to a group of farmers and interested locals, with the idea of garnering interest in developing test plots of vines.

51 years later, almost to the day, Dr Gladstones, accompanied by daughter Helen Gladstones returned to Margaret River to be celebrated for his untiring efforts in seeing Margaret River become the world famous wine growing region it is today. In his moving speech, Dr Gladstones paid tribute to the achievements of the Margaret River wine growers; “It is one thing to have an idea, and another to bring it to fruition.  If you stick to that, your future is absolutely assured, you can be confident of that.”

Guests on the evening included James Halliday, his wife Suzanne Halliday, Nola Marino MP, Libby Mettam MLA and her husband Jonathan, Hon Barry House, Redmond Sweeney President of the Wine Industry Association of WA, Larry Jorgensen CEO of the Wine Industry Association of WA, Cath Oates President of the Margaret River Wine Association, Rob Broadfield food reviewer for The West Australian, representatives of the Margaret River Tourism Association, local winery producers and wine lovers from WA, interstate and overseas


Inaugural 2016 Cullen Award For Excellence

Legendary Wine Writer and Critic James Halliday AM
announced as the Inaugural Winner for 2016

James Halliday and Vanya CullenJames Halliday AM and Vanya Cullen

At a glittering black tie gala evening in July, a hundred esteemed guests enjoyed a wonderful three course meal and fine Cullen Wines whilst they reminisced and celebrated the contribution made to WA wines by Kevin and Diana Cullen. Ms Libby Mettam MLA and Member for Vasse opened the proceedings, and Vanya Cullen had the honour of announcing James Halliday as the inaugural winner, who received a standing ovation for his tireless work in promoting the wines of Western Australia.

The Cullen Award for Excellence will be an annual award, culminating in a formal gala dinner to name the recipient. Any enquiries can be directed to

Any enquiries for bookings for the 2019 Cullen Award For Excellence can be directed to the Cullen Restaurant

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