Vanya Cullen is a champion of Biodynamic viticulture in Australia. While she is certainly not the original proponent of biodynamics, she is certainly the most prominent.
Put simply, biodynamic viticulture is a philosophy combining the maintenance of sustainable soil fertility and the recognition of the link between plant growth and the rhythms of the cosmos. It is a method of farming that treats the vineyard as a living system, which interacts with the environment to build a healthy living soil that helps to nourish the vines and general environment.
Since 1971 when the Cullen Estate was planted, chemical intervention was minimal and the family’s concern for the environment paramount.
In 1998 the change to total organic viticulture was made. Diana and Vanya went intuitively towards healing the soil by putting back what had been taken out. Organics is about soil health – drains were put in, cover crops, and composting resulted in A Grade Organic Certification in 2003 being gained by the Biological Farmers Association (BFA) of Australia.
In 2003, whilst attending a Biodynamic Conference, Vanya Cullen decided that Biodynamics would add further to the holistic and natural approach to both vineyard and winemaking.
In 2004 the Cullen Vineyard became certified A Grade Biodynamic by the BFA of Australia and the Mangan Vineyard and Winery followed in 2008. We also farm a biodynamic vegetable garden, which supplements the organic and biodynamic produce in the Cullen Restaurant.