Kumeu River Wines was established in 1944 when Mick and Katé Brajkovich and their son Maté first came to the small country settlement of Kumeu, about 20 km northwest of Auckland City. The family had migrated from Yugoslavia in 1938 and had been working in the far northern part of New Zealand digging kauri gum.
After moving to Henderson, in West Auckland, in the early 1940s, they worked on vineyards and orchards in the area and saved enough money to buy a property with a small existing vineyard at Kumeu.
Yields are kept low to improve the concentration of aromas and flavours in the grapes, and they harvest all of the grapes by hand. This allows them to remove faulty berries in the field so that quality grapes may arrive at the winery in pristine condition.
The white grapes are all whole-bunch pressed, which, although time consuming, gives the best quality results. The reds are destemmed and crushed gently before being transferred to fermentation tanks. No yeasts are added, as they rely solely on the indigenous yeasts that are present in the vineyard.