Michael Brajkovich MW



Michael Brajkovich has been involved in the wine business his entire life—his father emigrated to New Zealand from Dalmatia, Croatia, in 1938 and began growing grapes in Kumeu, in the Auckland region on New Zealand’s North Island, in the 1940s.


After studying Oenology at Roseworthy College in South Australia, Michael returned to the family vineyard and winery to take responsibility for wine production. He spent the 1983 vintage in France. Based on this experience, a new range of wines was developed under the Kumeu River label, where his range of Burgundian style chardonnays have achieved cult status.  In 1989 Michael became New Zealand’s first Master of Wine and in the decades since, he’s become one of the nation’s most formidable wine judges and industry commentators.


He was Chairman of the New Zealand Screwcap Wine Seal Initiative from 2001 to 2003. Michael is the current Chair of Judges at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show, and also sits on the Wine Science Board of Studies for the University of Auckland, where he’s been collaborating with the University in recent years on a study investigating indigenous yeast fermentations. Michael was also Chair of Judges for the Air New Zealand Wine Awards for five years and regularly contributes to magazine tasting panels.