Auckland’s Croatian Connection

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A Suburban Winery in Auckland New Zealand

Over 100 years ago, immigrants from what is now Croatia came to New Zealand, bringing with them their viticultural skills and subsequently planting vineyards to the west and north of Auckland.

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One such family was that of Josip Babich, who arrived in New Zealand when he was 14, in 1910, joining his three older brothers. Shortly thereafter, the brothers purchased land in Henderson Valley, to the west of Auckland. Babich Wines was born in 1916. Over the years, the family purchased adjacent parcels and expanded their planting and production.

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In the 1980s, the business expanded to Gimblett Gravels in Hawke’s Bay, to the southeast, where, in 1987, they established the first vineyard in New Zealand with sustainable (ecological) farming practices. Today, virtually all of New Zealand’s vineyards are farmed sustainably, the first place in the world to accomplish this feat. More recently, Babich extended its vineyard purchases to the Marlborough region on the South Island.

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Today, their Cellar Door, in Henderson Valley, is close to the urban sprawl of West Auckland, virtually adjacent to a subdivision. The wines range from the warm weather Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot) of Gimblett Gravels, Viognier and Syrah (Rhône varietals) in Hawke’s Bay, to the cooler climate Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner and Pinot Noir of the Marlborough region on the South Island.

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Enjoy a glass of wine and a picnic lunch overlooking the Babich vineyard.

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A Babich family member conducts tastings in the Cellar Door.

Their wines are affordable, excellent representations of their terroir and have won many accolades throughout the world. Their cellar door has a picnic area and Pétanque court, should you like to try your hand at the French boules game.

The Babich family has much to be proud of, from humble beginnings of immigrants to a new land, to a major producer of wines in modern day New Zealand.

When in Auckland, visit Babich Wines at:

15 Babich Road
Henderson Valley
Auckland, 0614

Phone: +64 (0)9 8337859
Fax: +64 (0)9 833 9929
Email: info@babichwines.co.nz

 

Until next time…Cheers!

©2014 Christine Humphrey

 

 

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