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Kumeu River are one of the pioneers of the New Zealand wine industry. And in contrast to the all-conquering image of Sauvignon Blanc as the country's signature grape, they've built their unparalleled reputation on their world-class Chardonnays.
Maté Brajkovich, a Croatian emigrant, established the estate in, what is now, the western suburbs of Auckland in 1944. His eldest son Michael, who took the reins in 1982, is largely responsible for building their name on the excellence of their Chardonnays which can be considered broadly Burgundian in style. In 1989 he was the first New Zealander to become a Master of Wine and is a pillar of the nation's wine industry. Alongside Michael his three siblings, Marijana, Milan and Paul together with their mother, Melba, all have hands-on roles and if you ever drop in at their cellar door it's highly likely you'll encounter one of the family more than happy to give you the inside track on their wines.
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