Our founders were a courageous couple who embarked on a sailing tour of the world. On one of the earliest stops, they found New Zealand. They quickly fell in love and decided to end their tour of the world to build a mud house in New Zealand and planted vineyards. After preparing the land and planting vines, they used the local earth to build their home. That home became our brand. Over twenty years on, with a renewed sense of energy, we remain as in touch with the land as our name suggests.
Meet our Senior Winemaker
Cleighten completed his Bachelor in Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University and set off to the northern hemisphere to work vintages in France (Chambolle-Musigny), Germany (Rheingau) and Cyprus.
Returning to his hometown of Marlborough, with world-class experience under his belt, Cleighten joined the Mud House team in 2012. After a decade of winemaking, Cleighten’s core focus remains unchanged, “to make the best wine possible!” He believes learning is the key, both experimentally and from others. Having a job where you only get one chance a year to perfect your art means that winemaking remains challenging and a continually evolving process.
Cleighten’s spirit of adventure is built around fishing, diving, exploring the outdoors, playing the guitar, cricket and watching sport.
Meet our Winemaker
After four years tripping around the globe, Krystal returned home to Marlborough and graduated with her Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology from Lincoln in 2012. Krystal has experience across many facets of winemaking, including assistant viticulturist and winemaker, and has done vintages in Marlborough, Waipara, United States and China.
Red wine is Krystal’s passion, particularly a juicy pinot noir. “When I make Pinot Noir, it is in a hands-off fashion. With minimal intervention, the purity and elegance of Pinot Noir really shines through. I love the art, science and creativity of winemaking. It is fluid, never stagnant – there are so many challenges and different branches to winemaking. I love that.”
Most days, Krystal is in a ballet studio, sailing, paddle boarding, surfing, or singing in theatre productions.