Vilagrad Winery is a family owned and operated business that was established as a winery in 1922 with grape vines originally planted in 1906.
Vilagrad Winerys mission is to provide excellence in food, wine and entertainment for events and special occasions.
Our fantastic Mediterranean style venue and setting caters for tours, tastings, weddings, corporate functions, conferences, and private functions. Our Sunday Lunch and Harvest Festival are very popular.
We are proud to say we are renowned for our fine food and wine, generosity and hospitality, fun and accommodating atmosphere not to mention our award winning wines.
Jacob Nooyen - Winemaker
Jacob Nooyen is the oldest son of Pieter and Nelda Nooyen and the master winemaker for Vilagrad and 3 Brothers winery.
Jacob handcrafts award winning wines from grapes grown all over NZ and from the home block. Jacob has won over 60 medals in the last 6 years for his fantastic wines. Jacob has also travelled the world making wines and has made wines in the finest wine regions in the world including the Napa Valley, and Germany. Jacob is a talented musician and singer, he plays the saxophone, piano and harmonica.
Cellar door is open from 9:00am until 4:30pm Monday - Friday and from 12-4pm Sundays.
To produce our 3 distinctive wines we have carefully selected certain varietals from selected single vineyard sites that produce grapes of exceptional quality. Some of the important aspects in the selection process included climate, soil profile, maturity of the grapevines, and vineyard management practices. The most important part of this selection process was our growers. These people had to share the same values that we have within our company. Our shared values are: sustainable production, honesty, quality not quantity, and good family values. From this we have been fortunate to find and form contracts with people that share the same vision that we do - "to consistently produce wines of exceptional character and quality that represent the climate and vista that they are produced in"
Ivan Milicich Snr had few possessions when he left the village of Podgora on the Dalmatian coast, Croatia in 1893, but he had skills, strength and a deep abiding love for his homeland and people. These attributes continue to influence subsequent generations of his family in New Zealand.
For over a decade Ivan Snr worked as a gum-digger and on contract jobs, saving to help his brothers emigrate and to buy his own land. In 1906 he began to grow grapes on his small dairy farm at Ngahinepouri and in 1922 he obtained a license to make and sell wine. This was the beginning of a Waikato family business which is now in its fifth generation. The winery is now known as Vilagrad, where the great-grand sons of Ivan Milicich Snr make award winning wines using both modern and traditional techniques.
Each generation brought changes and extensions to the family business. Ivan's grand-daughter Nelda, and her husband Pieter Nooyen, current owners, replanted much of the vineyard with classic varieties of grape and began to serve their table wines at the restaurant and function centre which now defines Vilagrad Winery. While maintaining some of the traditional varieties, Vilagrad Winery continues to produce ports and sherries from their almost 100 year old vines planted by Ivan Snr.
The vineyard demonstrates both nationally and internationally, that fine wines can be produced in the Waikato. This is shown by the great grandson's continuing award and medal winning successes with their Vilagrad wines.
Four generations on, the 3 great-grandson's of Ivan Snr continue tradition by releasing their own label called '3 Brothers'. Specialising in 5 different varietals from 5 well-known regions in New Zealand; these wines capture the essence of each region. Applying their combined knowledge within the industry the 3 brothers have created recipes, wine, and music to complement.
We operate every Sunday, continuing our family tradition of celebration, a very social atmosphere to enjoy a Mediterranean Spit Roast. A perfect day for an anniversary or a family trip away from the city, where you can enjoy fine wine, food and entertainment. If it is your birthday please tell us and we will make your day a special occasion.
Vilagrad is the perfect venue for the whole family, with our new exciting play area for children (including slides, play house, toy box, + much more) the kids will have a fantastic time!
Accommodation Nestled in the Vilagrad Vines
The Deluxe Champagne Suite
Sit back and relax in the comfort of our deluxe champagne suite, nestled amongst the Vilagrad vines. This room has a king sized bed, flat screen tv, basic kitchenette, including tea and coffee facilities, toaster, sink and refrigerator. This room also has a private ensuite for your comfort, leather couch, table and chairs, and is air conditioned. The large main room features an area which is perfect for a bride and bridal party to prepare hair and makeup for the big day with large mirrors in the main room and bathroom.
You also have access to a therapeutic massage spa among the vines - the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of bubbles.
This room sleeps two, comes with a complimentary bottle of bubbles and continental breakfast hamper for two with an 11am checkout.
The Master Suite
This master suite comes complete with a king sized bed, ensuite, tea and coffee making facilities, flat screen TV, refrigerator, and access to a therapeutic massage spa. This room is air conditioned for your comfort. Price includes a complimentary bottle of bubbles. 10 am Checkout.
The Vilagrad Apartment
Book the Vilagrad Apartment which includes a step down lounge with a 50'' flat screen TV, comfortable leather couches, and fireplace. There is also a fully equipped modern kitchen and dining room which opens out on to a large deck with a BBQ area. You can also relax in the therapeutic massage spa in the vines. The apartment also has the Charminer room which sleeps two has a flat screen TV and ensuite.