It's been 171 years since the first Drayton, Joseph, trod on rich Hunter Valley soil.

He was born in 1825 at Lincolnshire in England, and at the age of 27 set sail for Sydney with his wife, Anna, and their two small boys. Tragically Joseph lost a son, a newborn daughter, and his wife during the long voyage.

In 1853 he and son Frederick journeyed to Lochinvar. Soon after, they moved to Pokolbin, where Joseph acquired 80 acres of land, on which he built the “Bellevue” homestead and where he planted his first vines in the rich virgin soil of the property.

Joseph married Mary Ann Chick and they had eight children. One of their sons, William, took over the “Bellevue” property from his father. In 1885, William married Susanne Lambkin and they had ten children. Together they turned a family winery into a thriving business.

After retiring in his sixties, William split his assets among his children. Harry, Walter, George, and Lennard took over control of “Bellevue”. Ernest and Wesley took over the “Homestead” block, known as “Happy Valley”. Willie and Lewis were given the “Crows Nest” block (now Mount Pleasant).

In 1947 the company 'W. Drayton & Sons' was formed by third generation descendants of Joseph. Harry, Walter, George and Len were later joined by some of their fourth-generation children, Max, Bill, Reg, Jock, and Ron, in the running and further expansion of the business. By this time, the company was actively marketing itself as Drayton’s Family Wines. 

In the early 1950s, after the premature deaths of his three brothers, Lennard, aided by Walter's window, Catherine, guided Draytons Wines into the modern era of commercial winemaking with the introduction of tractors, electricity and refrigeration.

In 1989, Max Drayton and three of his four sons, John, Trevor & Greg, purchased the company from the other family members. Consequently, Jock and the late Ron retired to Cessnock, Bill settled at his “Cedarside Vineyard” at Mount View, where his interest in growing grapes continues. Tragically, Reg and his wife Pam lost their lives in a plane crash in 1994.

In 2008, another tragic chapter was added to the Draytons story. A winery fire and explosion resulted in the death of winemaker, Trevor Drayton and the contract boilermaker Eddie Orgo, as well as severe burning of the assistant winemaker, William Rikard-Bell. The Australian and Hunter Valley winemaking community still mourn Trevor & Eddie.

Today, Draytons Wines (formerly known as W. Drayton & Sons & Drayton's Family Wines), remains 100% Australian family owned and fully independent. 

It is the 'spiritual cradle' of the Drayton Family wine legacy, which began with Joseph Drayton over 170 years ago. 

The current Draytons Team continues to include long-term serving loyal employees, as well as members of the Drayton Family.

At Draytons Wines, we are very proud of our history, and the part we have played in the development of the region known as “Hunter Valley Wine Country”.