Wine millionaire Ivan Selak has died, aged 67.
Selak, whose West Auckland family company has been at the forefront of the New Zealand wine industry for 80 years, died on Tuesday after a battle with poor health.
In a touching family notice placed in tribute to her husband, Liz Selak said she is devastated by the loss.
"My darling, I am heartbroken that you have been taken from me. You were the best husband and friend, and my life without you will be so hard. You were everything to me," she wrote.
"Thank you darling, for fighting so hard and with such bravery to stay with us. "How can I go to sleep at night without your strong warm, loving hand holding mine?
"Rest in peace my beautiful man. Liz xx"
A service to commemorate his life will be held at Auckland's St Patrick's Cathedral on Tuesday.
Selaks is one of New Zealand's original wine brands, founded in 1934 by Croatian immigrant Marino Selak.
The first 300 vines were planted on Marino's Henderson property in 1930. Ten years later his nephew Mate joined him from Croatia and took up winegrowing until his uncle retired seven years later.
The land was acquired in 1960 for the Northwestern Motorway, so the Selaks purchased 8ha of land in Kumeu, where they planted 5500 vines.
Mate's sons Ivan and Michael joined the firm and in 1976 the family completed its first export order, to Australia.
Ivan Selak sold the family wine business to Nobilo in 1998.