Ivan Milicich Snr had few possessions when he left the village of Podgora on the Dalmatian coast in 1893, but he had skills and strength and a deep abiding love for his homeland and people. These attributes continue to influence subsequent generations of his family in New Zealand the Waikato family business is now in its fourth generation. The winery is now known as Vilagrad, where the great-grand sons of Ivan Milicich Snr make award-winning wines using both modern and traditional techniques.
Each generation brought changes and extensions to the family business. Ivan’s grand-daughter Nelda, and her husband Pieter Nooyen, current owners, replanted much of the vineyard with classic varieties of grape and began to serve their table wines at the restaurant and function centre which now defines Vilagrad. While maintaining some of the traditional varieties, Vilagrad continues to produce ports and sherries from their almost 100 year old vines planted by Ivan Snr.
The vineyard demonstrates nationally and internationally that fine wines can be produced in the Waikato. This is shown by the great grandson’s continuing award- and medal-winning successes with their Vilagrad wines. Four generations on, the 3 great-grandsons of Ivan Snr continue tradition by releasing their own label called ‘3 Brothers’. Specializing in five different varietals from five well-known regions in New Zealand, the brothers have produced wines that capture the essence of each region.
Click the banner above to visit 3 Brothers…