The Brajkovich family emigrated to New Zealand from Croatia in the 1930s, bringing with them some experience growing grapes for wine production. After purchasing property just outside of Auckland in the 1940s, the family tended the vineyard for decades until officially launching the Kumeu River brand in 1986. The winemaker is the eldest son Michael, who has not only taken their wines to a world-class level, but also became New Zealand’s first Master of Wine in 1989! Michael was my guest on this episode of The Vincast, sharing his family’s and his own stories.
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Michael Brajkovich MW from Kumeu River
For the fifth year in a row, Margaret River producer Voyager Estate hosted a masterclass in Melbourne and other Australian cities to benchmark new releases of some of their wines. This was my second time at this event; one of my first entries on this blog spoke about the first time back in September of 2011, just before I left for my trip. The exercise is designed to show sommeliers, buyers and media that Voyager is very confident about the quality of their wine against exceptional examples from around the world. Showing even more hubris, they do this against their three key wines; chardonnay, shiraz and a cabernet/merlot blend. That’s serious chutzpah.