Just 20 minutes from central Auckland, but worlds away from the hustle and bustle sits Soljans Estate, set in lush surrounds at the gateway to Kumeu Wine Country. Founded in 1937 and passed down through three generations, it’s one of the oldest family-run wineries in New Zealand, and with a variety of indoor and outdoor stunning settings, on-site cellars and kitchen and every need catered for, it’s one of the country’s most sought-after wedding locations.
“Soljans is set apart as a wedding venue due to our very proud Dalmatian heritage,” says functions and weddings coordinator Samara Paxton. “This is celebrated in all aspects of the venue, from specialty dishes on the menu through to the beautifully designed building. Hinuera stone has been used to the familys’ hometown in Croatia.
“We’re also able to cater to a multitude of different styles – we understand that each wedding is different, and each couple is different! We’re very adaptable to different themes and styles – indoor, outdoor, gardens, vines – you name it, we can do it.
“Our staff here at Soljans are second to none. From the wait staff, to the award-winning chefs, to your dedicated wedding coordinator, we make sure that every part of your special day is perfect and stress-free.
A purpose-built Pergoda and picturesque gardens and grape vines means Soljans is an obvious favourite for summer weddings, but Samara believes it’s no less lovely on cooler days.
“Aside from anything else, we get one of the most beautiful sunsets in the west! A sunset ceremony will give you the most beautiful photos to remember your day.” Another major bonus for those that fancy some fine wines at their wedding – Soljans also operates as a celebrated winery!
When asked which of Soljans top drops she’d recommend for weddings right now, Samara says “every wedding needs bubbles! Our award-winning Legacy Méthode Traditionnelle has lively citrus flavours that are coupled with a rich creamy texture, resulting from the extended yeast lees aging in the bottle. The Legacy is a complex, full-bodied and flavoursome Méthode Traditionnelle.
“Or our Hawke’s Bay Tribute Merlot Malbec is perfect for lovers of a good red – sweet florals and cherries abound on the nose, set against a background of coffee and dried herbal aromas. This elegant red shows a core of ripe red fruits and hints of toasty spiciness. Fine-grained tannins lead the palate to its harmonious conclusion.” Cheers to that!