FASHION | My time in the vines

27 Sep 2021
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

As part of her prize for winning The Ned Prix de Fashion for 2019, Aleisha Mitchell received a weekend getaway to Leefield Station (one of Marisco Wines vineyards).

She got to participate in a number of experiences and by all accounts, had a wonderful time telling us “my goodness I don’t even know where to start, we just had the most incredible weekend in Marlborough with Siobhan and her team. Both the friends we took and Scott & I were absolutely blown away by the hospitality and generosity of Marisco. It truly was a once in a lifetime trip.”

She kindly put pen to paper and told us about her time in the vines.

Content and images supplied by Aleisha Mitchell, 2019 The Ned Prix de Fashion winner

A weekend with Marisco

What an honour and privilege to experience such a unique and unforgettable trip to a very special part of New Zealand. This trip is definitely not your everyday weekend getaway!

Aleisha and her husband, Scott, amongst the vines


Siobhan (Marisco Vineyards General Manager of Sales and Marketing) and her team at Leefield Station shared with us the heart and soul of their operation.

On our first day in Marlborough we got to taste their 2021 vintage straight from the vat, wines still cloudy and ready for the final filtering process and we explored the cool, dark corners of their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay oak barrel rooms, while wine makers Seb and Jeremy walked as through their previous 2020 vintage.

Leaving the vineyard at the end of the day, we could see the abundance of passion and pride that drives the Marisco team.

Dinner on the first evening was at the newly opened restaurant ‘Harvest’ next to the stunning boutique accommodation ‘The Marlborough’. Kate and Siobhan joined us for dinner and we had the most wonderful time. It was bliss to have the time to stop, relax and engage with new people and an evening of stories, laughs and tales made for a very fun and entertaining night for all.

Our accommodation was a dreamy quaint cottage nestled amongst the vines. The fire stacked, the fridge overflowing with wine, cheese and hors d’oeuvres. The pantry was stocked with breakfast goodies and sweet treats….and even more wine!

A scrumptious catered dinner was delivered to our door on the second evening for a candlelit meal at the cosy country dining table. We played cards by the fire while indulging in The Kings Wrath – a pinot noir.

Morning coffee was enjoyed on the deck, watching sheep roam under the vines in the crisp fresh morning air.

A tour of Leefield Station gave us an appreciation of the scale and ambition of the Marisco brand. No area of the farm is overlooked in regards to utilisation of the land and by-products of the livestock.

Vines stretched as far as the eye can see. Sheep graze the high country of the station, their wool shorn in the 120yr old sheering shed at the base of the station. Wool for commercial use is in less demand than usual due to reduced manufacturing of New Zealand wool carpet so Siobhan and her team outsource the spinning of their raw wool, using boutique knitting manufacturers in New Zealand to create functional garments, hats, sweaters for farm workers and gorgeous waffle knit throws.

Angus beef is reared and bulls prepared for sale at the annual Angus beef auctions.

Hampshire lamb (the cutest sheep I ever have seen!) are being raised, their meat considered some of the finest lamb on offer.

Berkshire Pigs roam freely under a field of walnut trees. Apple Rose (one of the pigs) had just become the proud mum of 8 new piglets, they were less than 24hrs old!


Every new project they embark on supports their efforts to produce the finest quality products to be enjoyed with, and compliment, their award-winning wines.

We left the weekend with full bellies, a refined wine palate and a new appreciation of where and how the wine we drink is made. It’s so easy to forget that every bottle of wine cracked has it’s own story of ‘land to table’ -the soil, the science and most importantly, the people that have created it.

Our weekend in Marlborough was far from just a ‘weekend getaway prize’ it was the most unique experience spent with friends. Memories were made and Marlborough most definitely left its mark on our hearts.

Thank you Marisco and thank you Auckland Racing Club for giving us this once in a lifetime trip xx

To learn more about The Ned Prix de Fashion – and how you too could win this amazing prize – click here

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