Five generations of family stand behind Soljans Estate Winery, and our latest release was truly a family affair. Since we are the only New Zealand Winery to have such a long history, we decided to celebrate with a hand-crafted single vineyard Chardonnay, from right here in Kumeu.
This Chardonnay will be the first member of our Fifth Generation Series; a collection of premium wines created with a strong influence and involvement from the fifth generation themselves. Tyler Soljan, the eldest of the fifth generation pair, has worked alongside our winemaker, Jim Corkin, to produce this full bodied, classic Chardonnay, riddled with complex flavors and a mouthwatering finish. The younger half, Amber Soljan, has been working alongside our marketing team to design the label for this stunning edition to our wine list. This range will house only the best vintages and will expand in the coming years. From vine to glass, these wines are a testament to our winemaking heritage.
Soljans Estate is honored to have such a rich family history behind us. Our story dates back to 1927 when first generation, Bartul Soljan, set foot on New Zealand soil with his family in tow, following a long haul trip from Stari Grad, Croatia. We set down roots (literally) on Lincoln Road in Henderson in 1932, establishing the Soljans label in 1937. It was then that the second generation, Frank Soljan, found his passion. The third generation of our family was welcomed into the world in the ‘40s. Put to work from the word go, Tony, Rex and younger sister Raewyn were picking grapes in the vineyard as soon as they learnt to walk.
When the ‘70s rolled around it was time for the third generation, Tony and Rex Soljan, to take their turn to run the family business. Tony had just welcomed the fourth generation into the world; his two gorgeous daughters, Tonia and Lisa. The two girls were hands on in the company and still hold their place in the board of directors alongside their mother, Tony’s wife Colleen. Together they are the voice of reason. It wasn’t until the late ‘90s that the best generation arrived. In 1996 the first half of the fifth generation, Tyler, was born, and just a short three years later, in 1999, I, Amber, was born; twenty years ago today.
Tyler and I are the pride and joy of Soljans Estate, if we do say so ourselves. Both of us making wine the old fashion way at age five and working throughout the school holidays on the vineyard, just as the generations before us had done. Tyler and I are now working in the family business, so when our grandfather approached us with the idea of a fifth generation series of premium wines that we would get to be a part of, we couldn’t contain our excitement.
After 18 months in fine French oak barrels, we are proud to present to you Our Fifth Generation Series, Home Vineyard Chardonnay. Available online and instore. Enjoy!