Mellow + chilled… and I’m not just talking about the wine! Honestly, this Eristavi Winery wedding was the epitome of effortless Cool. With a big ‘C’.
Urban wineries are becoming more popular these days. Traditional wineries will always have their place. For many San Francisco couples, spots closer to home have their unique appeal.
Morgan and Eric chose Eristavi Winery for its convenient San Francisco location. In addition, it promised flexibility with customizing the perfect wedding package for their November wedding.
About the wedding couple
Morgan and Eric are a super laid back, relaxed couple. Their wedding was a time for them to kick back and spend some time with 40 or so family members and best friends.
The couple lives in the Outer Sunset district of San Francisco. They’ve been together for a year and a half. Like many other modern couples, they met on a dating app and hit it off!
We met at my place in the Mission to get to know each other. They emphasized how important it was to create a wedding experience that was true to their values.
Nothing over-the-top, just simple, sweet and authentic.
Planning their wedding
As well as the obvious benefits of the venue, they chose Eristavi Winery because they already knew the owners Lia and Nikolas Eristavi.
Likewise, George Elhihi who catered the wedding, was another friend of Morgan’s. He has owned and run Cafe Savini in Foster City for over 20 years.
They don’t typically do weddings. But you wouldn’t know it from the incredible spread, efficient service and uber-professionalism.
The couple approached me as their photographer because their friend whom they’d originally hoped for wasn’t available. Shoutout to our pal Corey – give him a follow!
Everything came together amazingly on the day!
Order of events at Eristavi Winery wedding
The couple had me there for just 3 hours. I was super happy to oblige as they reached out just a few weeks before the date.
We started with three portrait locations around San Francisco. We couldn’t have done it without Darrick, Eric’s amazing brother-in-law-turned-chauffeur.
He selflessly ferried us around, circling blocks and waiting patiently at each location until we were through with photos.
We started at Precita Park in Bernal Heights just as the light was getting super pretty. Then we headed to Balmy Alley in the 24th St Mission area.
To find out the final location where we took the dreamiest photos of the San Francisco skyline, keep scrolling! =) Do you recognize the spot?
After about an hour of bride and groom portraits, we hit Eristavi Winery! The guests had been enjoying a selection of cheese and (of course) wine. They greeted Morgan and Eric with a rapturous welcome.
Soon after we arrived the ceremony got started and was officiated by a friend, Tracy. The ceremony and sit-down meal both took place in the Barrel Room. Guests were seated in their dinner seats to watch the ceremony.
The family formals were next up on our timeline. We snuck in a few other grip n’ grin pictures throughout the evening. It’s so important to capture everyone that was there and how gorgeous they looked!
The incredible food was served right after the family formals were done.
The dinner buffet was set up in the Tasting Room. Guests would bring their plates back to their seats in the Barrel Room.
It was an inventive way of utilizing the same space for both ceremony and reception without having to ‘flip’ the space.
Just before my photo coverage was done, I snuck in a few photos of the newlyweds wrapped up in string lights.
One thing that stands out about this wedding was how the couple kept things intimate and meaningful. Wherever they could, they used vendors they already had a connection with.
I loved the purple / pink uplighting in the barrel room – it gave a sophisticated air.
Barrel rooms at wineries are dark, so that’s something to bear in mind. These spaces don’t have windows for natural light as it would risk spoiling the wine.
I used a combination of ambient light (where the photos are grainy, but retain the ambience) plus flash images – better lit but overpowering to the colorful uplighting.
The couple had a remembrance table display to remember loved ones no longer with us. They lit memorial candles in honor of Eric’s dad and Morgan’s mom at the start of the ceremony.
They also honored the Jewish tradition of breaking the glass.
Unique features of Eristavi Winery
Eristavi Winery was founded in 2006. It’s located just south of the Mission District and Potrero Hill in San Francisco.
The winery prides itself on being a family-run winery. The Eristavi family can trace its roots back hundreds of years to the mountainous Republic of Georgia, nestled on the Black Sea.
On their website, they state that their home country is where viniculture began thousands of years ago.
“Master Vintner Victor Eristavi passionately instills a unique combination of old-world winemaking techniques and modern technology to create his handcrafted wines while capturing the essence of distinct California grape varietals.”
Their winery is a beautiful way of honoring their heritage and keeping tradition alive.
Eristavi Winery has two distinct areas that are connected. The Tasting Room which you walk into first via the huge barn doors, and the Barrel Room which is lined floor to ceiling with wine barrels on three sides. Very striking!
The space is available for different size events – just get in touch with Lia for more info!
About Zoe Larkin Photography
You can learn more about my services at the links below. Hoping I’ll be back at Eristavi Winery soon, shooting your San Francisco winery wedding!
Spot the unicorn when you hover over any image on this post=)
More images from the wedding