Fine wines produced by exceptional estates, many of them family-owned.
North Island :: New Zealand
The story of Kumeu River Wines began to unfold in 1937 with the first generation of the Brajkovich family to arrive in New Zealand; Mick and Katé and their three children, daughters Franka and Nevenka, and son Maté. After a few years of working in the gumfields of the far north, the family moved to Henderson in West Auckland where Mick, Katé, and Maté worked in local vineyards and orchards. By 1944, they had saved enough money to purchase a Kumeu property with a small vineyard, which became known as San Marino Vineyards.
In 1957, Maté met his wife, Melba, whose grandparents had also immigrated to New Zealand from Croatia. During the 1960’s the couple had four children Michael, Marijana, Milan and Paul.
It was the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that saw a marked evolution in the style and direction of the winery. In 1979 the winery moved away from the hybrids used for the production of fortified and basic table wines to varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Merlot.
During the 1980’s Michael, Milan and Paul became more involved in the business and the winery took on a new focus. The winery changed its name to Kumeu River Wines and began producing a Burgundy-influenced style of Chardonnay that featured indigenous yeasts, extended lees aging and malolactic fermentation.
100% hand harvested. 100% whole bunch pressed. Indigenous yeast fermentation. 100% malo-lactic fermentation. 1/3 barrel fermentation (old barrels). 2/3 tank fermentation. The 2008 vintage ended up being an exceptional vintage for Chardonnay and the quality of fruit we received from our various vineyard sites in Kumeu made it difficult to separate the Kumeu River Estate quality from the Village quality. The standard from this vintage is so high that there are parcels in the Village wine which in other years would have been good enough for the
Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay.
This wine was fermented 1/3 French oak barriques, and 2/3 in stainless steel tanks to allow emphasis on the ripe peach and melon aromas of the Chardonnay fruit. We always think that this is a wine to drink while you wait for the Kumeu River Chardonnay to get more bottle age.
Village Chardonnay features very attractive lifted fruit aromas, along with a touch of nuttiness: the hint of hazelnut that is so typical of Chardonnay.
The palate also shows a nice peachy ripeness along with a crisp flinty character that gives the wine a refreshing cleansing quality.
Perfect with fish and shellfish.