Despite being situated well north of New Zealand's other viticultural regions, Kumeu's climate is kept cool thanks to its close proximity to the Tasman Sea, just 20km to the west and the Pacific Ocean 30km to the east. These two large water bodies generate cloud and help to moderate the climate, keeping peak summer temperatures below 30oC. These temperatures contribute to the conditions that enhance the fantastic aromas and flavours from early ripening varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
The vineyards are trained on a â€˜Lyre' trellis to help optimise exposure to light and increase grape maturity and quality. One of the distinguishing factors of Kumeu River's wines is that all of the grapes are harvested by hand. Although it takes more time than machine harvesting, this allows the opportunity to remove sub-standard grapes by hand; the result is a net yield of purely high quality grapes.
With a history of well over half a century, the vineyards of Kumeu River are reflective of the hard work and commitment of three generations of the Brajkovich family and those who have worked alongside them for many decades. The wines that result truly represent the unique combination of environmental influences and the skill and dedication of the Brajkovich family of winemakers.
The 2021 vintage in Kumeu was warm and dry and produced wonderfully ripe Chardonnay grapes with great intensity of fruit and finesse across all of our vineyards.
This wine was fermented 25% in old French oak barriques, and 75% in stainless steel tanks, so there is very little oak influence on either nose or palate. This has allowed the vibrant fruit to show through beautifully with lively lime and lemon aromas and a flinty, mineral edginess with hints of fig and white peach.
The weighty mid-palate also shows peachy ripeness along with crisp acid minerality that gives the wine a refreshing cleansing quality. This wine is delightful as an aperitif, and even better to drink with fish and shellfish.