Vibrant clusters of lavender, sweeping views over the Hauraki Gulf and lush vineyards stretching across the hills – indisputably one of Auckland’s most iconic venues, it’s not hard to see how Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant got so popular. Here, the venue’s wedding coordinator Nicole Turner shares her top tips for a vineyard celebration.
What types of couples should consider seeking out a vineyard?
Anyone who appreciates incredible scenery for a start – can you think of anything better than having your ceremony nestled amongst rolling hills covered in grape vines? And of course, foodies and lovers of wine! A vineyard will be able to help you create a sumptuous menu, and the cellar staff members have the knowledge to assist you in selecting wines that will complement your meal.
To be honest, vineyards are universally appealing – it’s part of the reason they’re so popular.
On the topic of wine, what selections of wines would you recommend to couples who have no idea where to start?
Pinot Gris is coming closer to outselling Sauvignon Blanc as the most popular wine for domestic consumption, so it’s a great place to start! As far as red wines go, it depends on your vineyard – here on Waiheke we have very dry summers. It means Syrah does really well, and always goes down a treat with wedding parties.
What time of year do vineyards look their best?
At Mudbrick, summers are always fantastic – did you know Waiheke is up to 2 degrees warmer, on average, than Auckland? But throughout May and June the vines and gardens turn a rich red, creating an intensely romantic look.
In your experience, which decorations lend themselves best to vineyards?
Couples often comment to us that they’re so happy they don’t need to spend much on decorations and styling – the character of the building is enough to wow guests and can be enhanced through simple details such as candles and classic floral arrangements. Hanging floral baskets have been particularly popular lately, and make for high impact embellishments. They are also really practical – guests get the same stunning first impression as they would from stand-out floral centerpieces, but they don’t have to crane their necks to see the action during your speeches or grand entrance.
What’s your top piece of advice for couples that are searching for a venue?
It really makes a difference if your venue has a dedicated wedding coordinator. Planning a wedding is a tough thing to do on your own, so having someone for guidance with trouble shooting, brainstorming, scheduling and finding local suppliers is invaluable.
Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant
126 Church Bay Road, Oneroa Waiheke Island
09 372 9050