Kumeu River Wines was established in 1944 when Mick and Kate Brajkovich first came to the small country settlement of Kumeu, about 20 km northwest of Auckland City. The family had migrated to New Zealand in 1938 from Dalmatia, the coastal part of Croatia. They came from a village called Zivogosce, not far from the town of Makarska. Mick Brajkovich died in 1949, but son Mate continued to tend the vines, make the wine and build the reputation of this fledgling wine company. The 1980s brought great changes and a move towards high-quality table wines made from varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot which were produced from newly developed vineyards in Kumeu.