Vale Graham Hutton
Gralyn Estate founder, Graham Hutton passed away peacefully on Sunday 9 July 2023.
Graham was a pioneer of the region and together with his wife Merilyn they established Margaret River’s first Cellar Door in 1978. They named it ‘Gralyn Cellars’ a combination of their first names. Graham was a dairy farmer from Capel and moved to the Wilyabrup property in 1968. The early years were spent clearing the 230ha farm, fencing, planting pasture and rearing beef cattle.
The early 1970’s were particularly tough, with beef prices very low. As a result in 1975, Graham and Merilyn decided to diversify and planted a 4.5-hectare vineyard on their farm. They were self-taught winemakers. Graham’s great sense of practicality made possible the vineyard planting and the building of a winery 'on the cheap.' In fact there was no other way - with wax lined concrete tanks, dairy coolers, self-help and improvisation being the order of the day.
Graham split the 1800 vineyard posts and strainers by hand, from jarrah trees on the property. There are fond memories of the camaraderie of the region in those early pioneering days, with friends and fellow vignerons offering assistance.
There will be a funeral service for Graham in Busselton at William Barrett and Sons, Bantry Chapel, next Thursday 20 July at 11am. Friends and family are invited to the Cowaramup District Social Club for drinks and light refreshments after the service.