One of the most highly anticipated awards of the event, the Australian Women in Wine Awards Winemaker of the Year Award proudly recognises an outstanding winemaker who is a leader in the profession, with a particular focus on the previous calendar year’s achievements.
This year, the award was bestowed on a highly celebrated winemaker who has continued to push the boundaries of innovation and winemaking style. She has been a leader in the industry for her passion for organic and biodynamic practices as well as the stunning region she calls home. The 2019 Australian Women in Wine Awards Winemaker of the Year was awarded to Vanya Cullen.
Vanya Cullen accepting the Winemaker of the Year Award at the 2019 Australian Women in Wine Awards
'It was an honour to be to be chosen as the 2019 Australian Women in Wine Awards Winemaker of The Year in New York City. I feel so happy as it’s an acknowledgment of the land, the vines and the whole team at Cullen Wine and all the work we do together' commented Cullen on her recent win.
'I am thrilled that the organic and biodynamic processes that we are committed to at Cullen are being recognised and talked about more extensively by the wider sector and innovations such as these can continue to be pushed into the spotlight through awards like the Australian Women in Wine Awards. Being acknowledged for looking after the land and growing wine in this loving way is a lifelong dream!' she added.
Vanya celebrates 30 years as chief winemaker at the Margaret River wine company created by her parents. She is well-known for her approach to biodynamic and sustainable winegrowing and making practices, and her company is now carbon neutral and naturally powered. With balanced soils, vines, grapes and wines, she has achieved an enviable place where her wines require no additions of acid, yeasts, or malolactic, etc.
This year she took her philosophy further and released Vanya Flowerday (harvested on a flowerday and using a flowerday barrel), Fullmoon (harvested on a full moon/flowerday) and Kevin John Legacy (harvested on a fruitday with fermentation in a concrete egg) all of which are based on the biodynamic Astro Calendar.
Her work and success has influenced many producers across the Margaret River region – and beyond - to now fully embrace the biodynamic/organic philosophy.
The Australian Women in Wine Awards ceremony coincided with the launch of Far From Ordinary: Aussie Wine Month, which brought Australian wineries across the globe for the largest Australian wine promotion ever held in the USA. These activities have been made possible by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.