Daily Wine 9/7/17:
Kumeu River – Hunting Hill – Chardonnay – Kumeu – 2016
- This wine is 100% Chardonnay from the Kumeu Subregion of Auckland on the North Island of New Zealand.
- Chardonnay (62 hectares) is the most densely planted varietal in Auckland, followed by Merlot, Syrah, and Pinot Gris.
- Auckland sits on volcanic soils, layered sandstone, mudstone, and heavy clays.
- Hunting Hill is a vineyard that was first planted in 1982 and occupies a slope that overlooks Maté’s Vineyard. It was replanted in 2000 and provides consistently ripe fruits with distinctive, mealy minerality. This is the closest a New Zealand Chardonnay will get to white Burgundy.
- The winemaker is Michael Brajkovich and he is a Master of Wine.
- Grapes are hand harvested and whole-bunch pressed. The fermentation is done completely in barrels with indigenous yeasts.
- This wine undergoes 100% Malolactic fermentation and matures for 11 months in barrel.
- The Brajkovich family came to New Zealand from Croatia in 1937 and went on to be a founding family of the New Zealand wine industry.
- The winery changed its name and focus in the 1980s from San Marino Vineyards to Kumeu River. San Marino was founded in 1944.
- Today, the winery produces around 250,000 bottles annually from 30 hectares of estate vineyards. They also source from 10 more hectares from local growers.
- Melba, Michael, Marijana, Milan, and Paul lead the team today.
- Pair this with fresh pasta with a cream-based sauce and bound salads.