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Vinous 90 points: "The 2021 Chardonnay Rays Road is bright, refreshing and almost salty. I'm even tempted to say mineral; it's certainly not a fruity Chardonnay. The finish is lightly savory with fresh white pear and floral notes. There's a sense of pithiness and citrus line followed up with an almost chalky texture." -- tasted by Rebecca Gibb MW, September 2022
Country: New Zealand
Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay
Rays Road is Kumeu River’s new vineyard site in Hawkes Bay. This limestone hillside is at 180 m altitude, with a northerly aspect. It is dry-farmed to yield high quality grapes for wine under the Rays Road name for our Kumeu River label. This Chardonnay was hand-harvested, whole bunch pressed and fermented with wild yeast in older French Oak barrels to give a wine that is zesty and fragrant, with mineral complexity that is very true to its site.
Founded in 1944 by Mick Brajkovich, their wife Katé, and their son Maté, Kumeu River was one of the early pioneers in Auckland, New Zealand, that helped to establish its reputation as a world-class wine region. Before that, they lived In their small Croatian village of Živogošće, Mick and Katé Brajkovich had also farmed small plots of land, and had experience tending vines and making their own wine. After a few years of working in the gum fields, the family moved to Henderson in West Auckland. Still family-owned and run, Kumeu River continues to pioneer new frontiers: winemaker Michael Brajkovich became New Zealand’s first member of the prestigious Institute of Masters of Wine, London, and has been testing and championing screw cap closures for nearly 20 years. In 2017 Ray's Road vineyard acquisition. The Brajkovich acquire their first primary vineyard site outside of Kumeu in Hawke's Bay.