21 Aug 2017
Hunter Valley wedding venue

Featured Venue: Calvin Estate Winery


Sometimes you find a place that photographs simply cannot capture its vastness, seclusion and peaceful surrounds. Calvin Estate is one of them.


Calvin Estate Winery Wedding


After Fiona&Malua‘s wedding, we were invited back to catch up with one the estate’s three owners, Tom Robinson. Tom has been in the hospitality industry for a number of years and clearly passionate about looking after his guests. At every wedding, you will see him on the floor, ever present to give his staff a hand to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

Arriving at Calvin Estate’s gated entrance, we were struck once again by its immensity. Though one may find a different place of this size intimidating, Calvin Estate has the opposite effect. Surrounded by hills and country charm as far as the eyes can see, one immediately feels at peace and relaxed upon setting foot at the Estate.

Only 15 minutes away from Hunter Valley’s famous wineries, not many venues in this region, or any where else for that matter, that boasts 24 acres of grand property. But what really sets it apart is that couples and their guests have absolute privacy and can enjoy its entire grandeur all to themselves.

Calvin Estate gives couples the flexibility to design their wedding as they imagine it: from the intimate to the extravagant. “We’ve had one wedding where the groom and his mates arrived in a helicopter like it was a scene from James Bond!” Tom recalls. Whether you’re planning to arrive by air or land, Calvin Estate’s events and wedding coordinator, Rachel, will personally help and guide you as much or as little as you need.

Calvin Estate Winery Wedding

Calvin Estate Winery Wedding

One of the many things that Calvin Estate is definitely not leaving to chance is the weather. Although from a photographer’s point of view, rain can be dramatic, exchanging your vows under the rain or not having a back-up plan will simply be devastating. “I used to own a hotel and across the road was a park overlooking the water where couples got married. When it rained, I’ve had couples asking me if they could move their ceremony to our undercover carpark! It was just sad and awful,” said Tom. Most couples choose to exchange their vows at the Wedding Rotunda that overlooks stunning valley and water views, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate couples can be assured that a beautiful and intimate ceremony awaits them in the private Calvin Chapel adorned with stained glass windows, and that can seat up to 90 guests.

The wedding reception usually takes place at the Calvin Barrel Hall. Aptly named, barrels line the walls of the hall that not so long ago were used to store wines. The sweet, unmistakable smell of wine still lingers in the room and your senses are immediately awakened to the fragrance of cheers and celebrations. When we asked our bride Fiona, what made her choose Calvin Estate for her wedding venue, she said, “One of the things that we needed was a place that could accommodate a sit down meal for our large number of guests as we had 175 people.”

For an outdoor reception, couples can have their celebration at the garden courtyard with a retractable roof – an elegant alternative to a marquee.

Tom knows from research what people remember years later from a wedding: what the woman wore and the food. “Food is so crucial. We can’t do anything about the former, so we make sure we get the food right!” Calvin Estate has an exclusive award winning caterer with a reputation to be one of the best in the Hunter Valley.

A few metres away from the Calvin Barrel Hall and the Wedding Rotunda is the stately homestead, the Calvin House. Exuding country charm and colonial furnishings, this spacious home is ideal for bridal party and can accommodate up to 8 – 10 people. Having an onsite accommodation is perfect, not only for practicality, but also being close to the ceremony is one of things that Florent Vidal Photography recommends to our couples to make the most of their bridal and groom preparations, as they will be more relaxed. When you’re calm and relaxed at the beginning of the day, this carries on throughout the wedding day.

With its stunning location and exquisite offerings, Calvin Estate is a dream location for your wedding, but Tom knows these elements should only be the beginning to a great wedding day experience.

“What we want couples and their guests to really remember is the feeling they have when they stay here. We want them to feel very welcome and have a great time!”

Hunter Valley wedding venue

Hunter Valley wedding venue

Calvin Estate Winery Wedding

Calvin Estate Winery Wedding