Kumeu River Wines was established in 1944 when the Brajkovich family settled at Kumeu, 20 km northwest of Auckland City
The family migrated from Yugoslavia in 1938 and had been working in the far Northern part of New Zealand digging kauri gum. After moving to Henderson, in West Auckland, in the early 1940s, they worked on vineyards and orchards in the area and saved enough money to buy a property with a small existing vineyard at Kumeu. Mick Brajkovich died in 1949, but Mat and Kat continued to tend the vines, make the wine and build the reputation of this fledgling wine company that became known as San Marino Vineyards. In 1958 Mat married Melba Sutich from Dargaville, whose antecedents also came from the Dalmatian coast.