A bride with a long-running connection to Saint Clair Family Estate took it a step further last week, when she married her husband in one of our vineyards overlooking Marlborough.
Courtney MacKay’s connection to the Saint Clair family began before she was even born, when her mum Sandra formed a friendship with Sarina, the eldest Ibbotson daughter.
As time went on, Courtney grew up alongside Sarina and the wider Ibbotson family, before working for the family both at the Vineyard Kitchen in school holidays, and in the cellar during vintage 2009.
Many nights were spent babysitting Sarina’s own children, Ayla, Jack, and Leia, and Courtney’s parents Sandra and Colin began growing grapes at their Dillons Point Road vineyard in 1998.
Producing both sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, they consistently produce fruit for our Pioneer Block range, their chardonnay stealing the limelight under the label Cell Block 11, a nod to Colin’s time serving in the New Zealand Police.
Courtney later fell for now-husband Joe Wheeler, a Marlborough man with a talent for rugby, seeing him play for the Tasman Makos, Crusaders, Highlanders, Māori All Blacks and Suntory Sungoliath rugby club in Japan.
“It’s nice that we were able to get married somewhere that has a connection for us; mum and dad’s vineyard would have been nice but some vineyards aren’t created for that,” Courtney says.
“We did toss up Wanaka or Queenstown because we have been in Dunedin for so long but we’re both from here, Blenheim is still home and it would feel weird if it was anywhere else.”
The Saint Clair connection was carried throughout the festivities, with pre-wedding drinks and canapés at the Vineyard Kitchen the night before the wedding last Wednesday, and Saint Clair Family Estate wines at the wedding and reception on Thursday.
A big congratulations Mr and Mrs Wheeler!
All photos courtesy of Jessica Jones Photography.