The Selaks Story

Grown in New Zealand

When Marino Selak first arrived in New Zealand from his native Croatia in 1906, there were a few things missing. Apart from olive oils and traditional Croatian food, it seemed wine was in seriously short supply too.

Back in Croatia, wine was the centre of the table that brought families and friends together – part of everyday life. So Marino decided to create his own by buying some land for a market garden, orchards and vineyard.

Unwittingly he started creating a wine that would become a New Zealand favourite.

A Family Tradition

1934 saw the first vintage of Selaks and by 1940 things were going so well Marino put the call back home for help. Nephew Mate Selak sailed to New Zealand on a one way ticket at the tender age of 16.

He must have enjoyed his new home because by the time Mate was 23, he had purchased the land from his Uncle.

His wine brought a taste of Europe to the country and was instantly popular. Even when the government confiscated the Selaks’ land to build a new motorway, Mate continued to make wine from his basement until he purchased 20 acres of land in the Kumeu area of West Auckland.

Always looking ahead

Fast forward to 1982 and Mate found himself back in the Northern Hemisphere – this time at the first ever tasting of New Zealand wines at New Zealand House in London.

The 1980’s saw Mate’s sons take the Selaks wine into more modern styles as the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc story began to take off. It was at this time that Brett Fullerton joined as winemaker – he is still crafting Selaks wines today.

Mate passed away in 1991, but not before 25 acres of land had been purchased in Marlborough, now renowned as the home of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

The emphasis on elegant, consistent winemaking that brings people together continues to this day. Take your time to enjoy quality wine that’s been generations in the making.

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  • Mate had a little lamb – hosting the annual Viticultural Field Day event, with special guest Sir Robert Muldoon.

  • Enjoying wine with friends and family – a convivial event very much in the Selaks tradition.

  • Mate enjoying the company of local members of the Croatian community – happy days in the winery!

  • Ivan sharing his knowledge with a customer in the Selaks Wine Shop.