Most are missing the New Zealand Chardonnay story.
Kumeu River Wines 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.
Still very much a family wine company as son Michael is making a stunning range of wines – including Chardonnay. Brothers Milan and Paul are actively involved in the vineyards and marketing. Sister Marijana is also part of the family business on the finance side. All under the direction of Managing Director Melba Brajkovich.
After studying Oenology at Roseworthy College in South Australia where he was Dux in 1981, Michael Brajkovich returned to the family vineyard and winery in Kumeu to take up responsibility for wine production.
Since then he has travelled extensively through the world’s wine areas and had the opportunity to spend the 1983 vintage in France with the reputed house of Jean Pierre Moueix in Libourne, near Bordeaux. Michael was New Zealand’s first Master of Wine which he achieved in 1989.
It is the Chardonnay that has enjoyed the greatest critical acclaim and success in international markets, particularly in the United States. The “Wine Spectator” magazine has placed Kumeu River Chardonnay in its annual list of the top 100 wines on five occasions. In 1996, the Kumeu River Chardonnay 1994 was ranked at Number 6.
Today, the 2010 Chardonnay is quietly fermenting away. Here is a quick video update on the 2010 harvest at Kumeu River.