Drayton Family

Winemakers over several generations since the 1850s
Inducted 6 December 2006

The Drayton’s are one of the region’s original winemaking families, and their companies are still family owned and operated.

The family’s Australian history can be traced back to the arrival of Joseph Drayton in Sydney in 1852. In the late 1850s, he moved to Pokolbin, and it was here that he built the Bellevue homestead and planted his first vines.

Joseph’s son, William and his descendants helped to extend the family’s interests in winemaking. In 1885, William married Susan Lambkin and they had ten children, amongst whom the properties were split after Joseph and William retired.

In 1947, the company W. Drayton & Sons was established, and Bellevue eventually passed into the hands of the children of four of William’s sons.

The company was then run by Max, Bill, Reg, John and Ron (fourth generation descendants of Joseph) who were later joined by some of their children in the running of the business. By this time the company was actively marketing itself as Drayton's Family Wines.

In 1989, Max Drayton and three of his sons, John, Trevor and Greg, purchased the company from other family members.

In the same year, Reg established Reg Drayton Wines, after his family sold their interest in the original Drayton Family holdings but took over sole ownership of Lambkin Estate (originally part of those family holdings) and added this to their previously owned property of Pokolbin Hills.

Reg Drayton and his wife Pam died in a plane crash in 1994, with their business now being owned and operated by daughter Robyn Drayton. In 2006 Robyn Drayton changed her business name to "Robyn Drayton Wines" and is the first female vigneron in the Drayton Family and the Hunter.

In 1997, Max Drayton celebrated 50 years in the Australian winemaking industry, and in 2003 was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his achievements and contribution to the wine industry.

Trevor Drayton died in 2008 following an explosion and fire at the family winery.

Today, at least three Pokolbin winemaking companies are owned and operated by members of the Drayton Family.

Visit the Drayton Wines website Visit the Ivanhoe Wines website

Plaque location

Visitor Information Centre, Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin