Kumeu River Wines
Kumeu River, our story of how the Brajkovich family came to New Zealand; brought wine making knowledge with them from Croatia to their new adopted home; and went on to be a founding family of the New Zealand wine industry.
Just as the Brajkovich family has grown, so too has the winery itself. Extensions and additions mark the milestones that have seen business adapt and expand over the years. Today, the winery produces around 250,000 bottles annually from 30 hectares of its own vineyards in Kumeu, and another 10 hectares from local growers.
The Chardonnay wines of Kumeu River have gained a strong foothold within the international market, receiving outstanding accolades. The vineyard has gone on to become the globally recognised benchmark for non-Burgundy produced Chardonnay.
But that is today; the Kumeu River Winery has been built on generations of hard work, belief, and a commitment to producing a world-class wine.
Kumeu River Wines is open for tasting Monday to Fridays 9am to 5.30pm and on Saturdays from 11am to 5pm.
Kumeu River Wines encompasses 30 hectares of vineyards, which are predominantly clay soils overlying a sandstone base. These soil types retain sufficient water at depth, even during the summer months, to ensure the deep vine roots continue to hydrate the vine without excessive vigour. Therefore, the vineyard doesnt require irrigation, a factor that is critical to the quality of Kumeu Rivers grapes.
Despite being situated well north of New Zealands other viticultural regions, Kumeus climate is kept cool thanks to its close proximity to the Tasman Sea, just 20km to the west and the Pacific Ocean 30km to the east. These two large bodies of water generate clouds, which help to moderate the climate, keeping peak summer temperatures below 30°C. These temperatures contribute to the conditions that enhance the fantastic aromas and flavours from early ripening varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
The vineyards are trained on a Lyre trellis to help optimise exposure to light and increase grape maturity and quality. One of the distinguishing factors of Kumeu Rivers wines is all of the grapes are harvested by hand. This allows the opportunity to remove sub-standard grapes by hand; the result is a net yield of purely high-quality grapes.
Kumeu River Wines was established in 1944 when Mick and Katé Brajkovich and their son Maté first came to the small country settlement of Kumeu, about 20 km northwest of Auckland City. The family migrated from Yugoslavia in 1938 and had been working in the far Northern part of New Zealand digging kauri gum. After moving to Henderson, in West Auckland, in the early 1940s, they worked on vineyards and orchards in the area and saved enough money to buy a property with a small existing vineyard at Kumeu. The Brajkovich family describes its wine-making philosophy in terms of endeavouring to grow grapes of the highest standard, treating them with respect and turning them into wine. Kumeu River Wines is best known for its Bergundian style Chardonnay wines which have been rated by UK Wine Magazine as equal to Domaine Des Comtes Lafon Montrachet 1995 and accorded top 100 status by the American Wine Spectator magazine.
- Kumeu River The Societys Exhibition New Zealand Chardonnay, 2010 GOLD (International Wine Challenge 2012, Gold Medal Winners)