Brad Hutton- Winemaker Gralyn Wines and Michael Hutton- Winemaker Hutton Wines
Gralyn Estate Founders Merilyn and Graham Hutton count not one but two winemakers from their offspring. Brad is now the Winemaker at Gralyn Estate and Michael has his own label Hutton wines. If in doubt that it’s a family affair, daughter Annette is in charge of sales at Gralyn.
Each received a tonne of grapes to make wine on their 21st birthday. Michael made a Vintage Port and remembers it as the moment the seed was sown to become a winemaker. Brad recalls his Pink Port was so successful it went into production at Gralyn in subsequent years.
What are the things that they’ve learnt from their parents about the wine trade? “Stay small and focus on producing quality wines,” is how Brad summarises. “And don’t make more wine than you can sell,” added Michael “Though my wife and I do our best to drink any excess!”
Would they tell their own children to avoid the wine business? “No” says Michael ”but in the tradition of the original Doctor / wine producers I’d suggest they secure a day job so they can pursue their vinous passions without any underlying financial stress.”
Brad agreed but suggests ‘Professional Tennis Player’ or ‘Plastic Surgeon’ as occupations that would keep him in more comfort!
The focus on quality is ingrained but Brad is not afraid to innovate at Gralyn. The vines are now run organically with no sprays. He now makes the Chardonnay with more solids to provide texture and mouthfeel and a ‘funky quality’.
One of Gralyn’s biggest differentiators has always been it’s fortified wine selection. Where other Western Australian winemakers make a fortified or a dessert wine it’s a one off.
Sweet and Fortified wines make up more than 2/3 of the Gralyn Portfolio and they’ve been richly rewarded with trophies, gold medals and 95+ point ratings from wine critics. But even here Brad is experimenting with Chocolate Ports and a Coffee Port (which sold out quickly).
If Gralyn is a small producer than Hutton Wines is micro. Wine buffs will be familiar with the term ‘Garagista’ a word coined in France to describe a small batch or experimental winemaker.
A quick perusal of the Hutton Wines website will reveal that the family garage is indeed full of wine barrels. Michael produces his “Triptych Series” comprising Semillon, Cabernet and Chardonnay all sourced from Wilyabrup in Margaret River.
Brad is most excited about the recent bottlings of the 2016 Chardonnay and Shiraz. “The upcoming 2017 Vintage of Fortified Wines will be released with it’s historic 1978 label to commemorate 40 since the opening of the Cellar door.”
“The criteria for judging a great fortified Muscat as per Bill Chambers “If it tastes yummy, give it a gold!” These wines are absolutely that. Blending these wines for bottling and maintaining the Muscat solera is an absolute joy.”
For more information on the Wineries in this feature go to
This is an excerpt from a feature in the spring issue of Your Margaret River Region Magazine. Photos courtesy of Gralyn Estate and Hutton Wines.