Producer

Villa Maria

Country

NEW ZEALAND

Appellations

North Island: Auckland, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa | South Island: Marlborough, Nelson, Waipara, Central Otago

Founded

1961 par Sir George Fistonich

Climate

Globally sunny, temperate, maritime climates. Sea breezes bring a cooling influence. In Hawkes Bay: Warm, sunny, low rainfall. In Marlborough: Cool, abundant sunshine, low rainfall

Soil composition

Mainly alluvial, free draining, stony soil. In Hawkes Bay: A virtual kaleidoscope! From alluvial, with gravely subsoils in the plains to very stony soils in the famed Gimblett Gravels, with layers of sands and silt. In Marlborough: Ancient, glacial, free-draining soil (stony sandy loam over very deep, stony gravels). More clay in the southern vineyards, where Pinot Noir thrives.

Vineyard

The vineyard area allocated to these top-tier wines changes with the vintage to ensure consistent, high quality.

Agriculture

All owned vineyards are either certified organic or sustainable.

Production Volume

70% white, 30% red

Varieties Grown

Cabernet Franc , Cabernet Sauvignon , Chardonnay, Chenin, Grenache Noir , Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir , Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Syrah, Tempranillo Noir , Viognier

Ages of Vines

Between 15 and 18 years; over 25 years in some cases.

Behind the Wines

Sir George Fistonich, Ollie Powrie & Nick Picone

Villa Maria founder, Sir George Fistonich, strongly believes in having great people with a passion to grow and make great wine. And so he put together a talented, dedicated team including Ollie Powrie and Nick Picone.

Exceptional Sites for Extraordinary Wines

Soil-climate combinations perfectly suited to crafting top quality wines, environmentally friendly production techniques, and the unmatched dedication of their team characterizes Villa Maria. Together, these qualities give rise to extraordinary Reserve and Single Vineyard wines.
Access the wines of this producer

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