Kumeu River

New Zealand, North Island
http://www.kumeuriver.co.nz/

From the pioneering days to the establishment of the New Zealand wine industry to today, the Brajkovich family have been internationally recognised as producing world class wine. The Brajkovich family continue to harvest their grapes at Kumeu and refine their wine making skills.

The Brajkovichs are nationally recognised as a founding family of the New Zealand wine industry, and the current generation are internationally recognised as producing world class Chardonnay.

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.

World class: two words loaded with import and used too liberally these days. Apropos of Kumeu River’s Chardonnays, those two words are apt. My expectations were high coming into this tasting and I did not depart disappointed, thanks to consistency and quality. No wonder Kumeu has such a devoted following. The tasting revealed my predilection for Hunting Hill, which stood out in many of the flights, closely followed by Maté’s Vineyard. Maybe I am less enthused by Coddington. It is a pity that Kumeu River may lose this vineyard, and being constrained by 12-month contracts risks impeding long-term investment, but in my view their two strongest single cuvées will remain. To reiterate, prices mean that in terms of value for money, these Chardonnays (available through Farr Vintners in the UK and Wilson Daniels in the United States) are almost unbeatable. Since the early days of the New Zealand wine industry, Kumeu River has been the standard-bearer for Chardonnay. They have not diversified too much or expanded into other New Zealand wine regions – at least not until recently, with their new project in Hawke’s Bay. For me, their signature will always be Chardonnay. When the Brajkovich family was given a canvas upon which to paint their own expression of this grape variety, they decided to create a masterpiece. Neal Martin, vinous.com (Feb 2019)