Exceptional Sites for Extraordinary Wines
The Value of Great People
At Villa Maria, the human aspect of terroir is fundamental. From what (and where) to plant, to when to pick, the choices made in the vineyards are essential for top quality grapes. Likewise, the decisions made in the winery are key to crafting consistently excellent wines from one vintage to the next. Sir George Fistonich’s highly skilled team is up to the task.
Strength in the Face of Adversity
The 1980s was a crucial period for the vineyard. Newcomers had sparked a price war bringing Villa Maria to the brink of foreclosure. The firm was saved thanks to the winery’s international acclaim, and the broad support of its staff, backed by the Save Villa Maria campaign, launched by contract wine producers and the general public.
Specialized Techniques and Organic Vineyards
All of Villa Maria’s vineyards are grown under Biogro certified organic production or Sustainable Winegrowers New Zealand (SWNZ). Subsurface irrigation, along with the use of a pressure chamber to monitor vine stress, allows Villa Maria to target water applications precisely. Silt-rich sites are increasingly being dry farmed. Careful canopy management techniques are employed through-out the year. All in an effort to produce more concentrated wines, with riper, more expressive fruit.
Pushing the Boundaries of Excellence
The team at Villa Maria is always learning and innovating to further their already in-depth knowledge of each vineyard, and each vine. Their practices evolve over time in pursuit of ever better and more complex wines. Ollie Powrie experienced this first hand, tasting 2013 Merlot grapes from the organic Joseph Soler Vineyard. They had such purity, and incredibly flavour. The resultant wine: Villa Maria Single Vineyard Braided Gravels Merlot 2013 remains an all-time favourite for Ollie.
“The greatest wine in my career so far would have to be the 2014 Ngakirikiri Cabernet Sauvignon. It has the potential to be one of the greatest red wines yet produced from New Zealand. The fragrance, purity and richness found in this wine is next level stuff!”
- Nick Picone, Group Chief Winemaker, Villa Maria