The estate was founded in 1944 and is now in the hands of the third generation of Brajkovitchs: Michael as winemaker, Milan in the vineyards and Paul looking after sales and all three under the watchful eye of their mother, Mate’s widow, Melba. Chardonnay was first planted here in 1979. Other grapes (Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris) are now proving popular and successful, but it is the Chardonnay which put Kumeu River on the map. All the Chardonnay fruit comes from the village of Kumeu, just NW of Auckland, and is either estate-owned or estate-managed. This is a cool area, despite being at the North of New Zealand, and their vineyards are surrounded on three sides by the cooling ocean.