New Zealand, Kumeu

The New Zealand wine industry is one of the younger wine regions in the world, whose popularity grew immensely when Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc hit the world wine scene, quite unique in style when compared to the typical French Sancerre.

Wine is successfully cultivated on both the North and South islands from a latitude of 36 degrees in the North to 45 degrees for the most southerly wine region in the world, the south Island's Central Otago. The majority of regions are located in free-draining alluvial valleys except for Waiheke Island and Kawarau Gorge in Central Otago and benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate as no vineyard is more than 80 miles from the ocean. With plentiful sunshine hours and cool evening sea breezes, the grapes thrive.

Sauvignon Blanc is the major white variety people will think of when you mention New Zealand Whites, however fantastic Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and less commonly Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Blanc. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted red variety in New Zealand although Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (Bordeaux Blends), Syrah are also grown and in even smaller amounts, Tempranillo and Montepulcianos can too be found. Sparkling wines of very high standards are also made in New Zealand.

The key wine regions in New Zealand include Auckland, Canterbury, Central Otago, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Nelson.
The Kumeu region’s winemaking heritage dates back to the 1930s, a time when families of Croatian origin had opened Auckland’s first wineries. Now a coastal wine village, the area is home to an abundance of cellar doors ranging from boutique, family-run operations to larger, well-known names.

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 bodies of water generate help to moderate the climate by generating clouds, keeping peak summer temperatures below 30°C. These temperatures contribute to the conditions that enhance the fantastic aromas and flavours from early ripening varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. While there are a wide range of varietals produced in this region, wine enthusiasts should keep an eye out for Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, two of the best-known wines produced in the region.
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  1. Kumeu River 'Village' Chardonnay 2019
    Kumeu River Chardonnay is drawn from six different vineyard sites in the Kumeu Region. Particularly care is taken in selecting only the very best grapes from these vineyards for the Kumeu River Estate label. Shows lovely stone fruits, creamed nuts, ... Learn More
  2. Kumeu River 'Estate' Chardonnay 2018
    Kumeu River, northwest of Auckland is without a doubt NZ’s finest chardonnay producer. Master of Wine and winemaker Michael Brajkovich has been crafting fine chardonnay at the estate since the 1980’s. Hand picked fruit and vigorous selection from the ... Learn More
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    Bob Campbell MW
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