Wednesday, September 19, 2012
A Life at Mudbrick
Just over twenty years ago Nick and Robyn Jones were sitting in their Epsom home living a very different life. Robyn was at university doing a Bachelor of Commerce degree and Nick was working as an accountant. In their twenties they were living a certain, not unpleasant life, but neither Robyn nor Nick was looking forward to the path that was opening up before them. One day what started as a thought was voiced: ‘I wonder if we could ever do something different to what we are doing now?’
They purchased land on Waiheke and began visiting the property at weekends. Planting, planting, planting was the never-ending story: planting shelter belts, planting trees, planting vines. Most died, or were eaten by the neighbour’s cattle, which would periodically escape from their confinements and feast on all the hard work until they were caught - usually not until the following weekend. One of the first skills Robyn and Nick developed was how to recognise both a satisfied and guilty look crossing a cow’s face. Anger management also proved useful later on.
Some time later, a Barn/House/Winery was completed, built out of mud bricks. Robyn loved the look and feel and Nick agreed only on the principle that mud brick buildings do not vary their internal temperature by more than one degree in any 24-hour period - perfect conditions for aging and storing wine. The first vintage was expected in 1996 - three years later.
After a bath in their Mudbrick “barn house” one night, Nick suggested to Robyn as they sat, sipping wine on the terrace overlooking the Hauraki Gulf, that they set up a “café”, to produce food to complement their wines in one of the best environments on earth. Robyn stated that if she were to be involved with a “café” it would have to be a nice one. Nick, as an accountant, could see that this statement had ramifications...
And so the Mudbrick Restaurant and Vineyard began.
Part cookbook, part homage to the beauty and appeal of life on Waiheke Island, A Life at Mudbrick recounts Robyn and Nick Jones’ extraordinary journey to create this iconic vineyard and restaurant, now such an important part of the Waiheke landscape. It celebrates the whole of Mudbrick, from its amazing staff and suppliers, to the world-famous restaurant with its delectable food, the potager garden that supplies the kitchen, and of course the vineyard and its spectacular, award-winning wines.
A Life at Mudbrick celebrates Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant’s birth, and the ingenuity and creativity that have seen it thrive, as well as the people who work hard to keep it running. With over 50 recipes from head chef Andreas Lindberg, and stunning photography from Aaron McLean, this book will have you heading for the ferry terminal so that you too can partake in the world-renowned experience that is Mudbrick.