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 the traditional Croatian food, it seemed that wine was in seriously short supply. 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 creating a wine that would become a world favourite. 34 years later and the Selaks wine had become so popular in the local Auckland community that Marino asked his relatives in Croatia for help. Perhaps lured by the prospect of growing wine in the fields of New Zealand as opposed to going to war, Marino’s 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 and had begun experimenting with champagne style wine. Read more »
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