In 1938 Maté Brajkovich arrived in New Zealand with his parents, who settled in Kumeu and in 1944 bought a small vineyard which would later become Kumeu River wines. For a few decades Maté mostly made simple fortified and sparkling wines. It wasn't until 1982 however, when Matés son Michael took over, that the wines would really start to turn heads. Michael and his siblings began to transform the vineyard and vinification practices to more considered, traditional ways, with hand harvesting, improved drainage, judicious use of oak and only using the wild yeast present in the vineyard to bring a sharper definition of terroir into the wines. Matés vineyard is the original land bought in 1944, re-planted by Maté just before his death with low-yielding Mendoza clone Chardonnay in 1990.
What The Critics Say
Winemaker notes on current 2018 vintage
"All of our Chardonnay from 2018 is supple and approachable but the limestone soils of this vineyard give us quite a different expression to the vineyards we have in Kumeu. The wine is fragrant and flinty with a hint of pink grapefruit. The palate is supple but with a limestone edge that is piercing and lingering. It will be interesting to see how this wine develops but we fully expect to see it improve with bottle age along the same lines as the other Kumeu River wines."
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