The heritage of what is known today as Kiwi Estate Winery can be traced back to the 1930s. Yugoslav migrants, the Jelas family, began producing liqueurs, port and sherry in Riverhead. Two decades later in 1950, the family business diversified to produce table wines, led by Michael Jelas. Glenburn Wines and the Riverhead label were born from his passion.
“You must have a feeling for wine. Like a good chef, you must be able to assess when to do what and to know just when the wine is right... Quality is always the first consideration” –Michael Jelas.
The company began winning national wine competitions in 1974, kicking off what would become an acclaimed record. More recently, Riverhead Estate’s kiwifruit and boysenberry wines won awards at the International Wine and Spirit competition. In 2013, all of Kiwi Estate’s still and sparkling wines won medals at the Fruit Wine and Cider Makers competition.
In 1987, with a change in ownership, Alan Lawes assumed the role of winemaker at Riverhead Estate. Alan’s high standards have remained a constant for close to three decades, as he continues to oversee wine production today. The company name may have changed, but distinguishing quality remains firm.
Today, Kiwi Estate Winery manages the Pukeko Grove wine label. Our label takes its name from the inquisitive, foraging native birds which are found on road sides and in the paddocks surrounding our winery. The range of Kiwifruit, Feijoa and Boysenberry wines are available throughout New Zealand.
Pukeko Grove Wine Accolades
Kiwifruit Still: Best still White - NZ Fruit wine awards
Feijoa Still: Best still White - NZ Fruit wine awards
Boysenberry Sparkling: Gold Medal - NZ Fruit wine awards