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As New Zealand's Most Awarded Winery and recently awarded 3rd Most Admired Wine Brand in the World by Drinks International, quality is part of our DNA. Quality to us is more than just the wine in your glass, it is ingrained in all parts of our wine making process so you can be assured that we take the utmost care in delivering the worlds best wine to you from the vine to your glass.

From the vineyard to the winery Villa Maria leads the industry through innovation, sustainability and quality made wines. We lead the way because we are led by the best. Sir George Fistonich instils an attitude in his workers that if something does not work, this is a chance to take a different approach rather than simply giving up. These are the things that set us apart from the rest.

Discover how quality is ingrained in our winemaking process from the vineyard and beyond.

Villa Maria Estate – A Point of Difference:

From the vineyard to the winery Villa Maria leads the industry through innovation, sustainability and quality made wines. We lead the way because we are led by the best. Sir George Fistonich encourages his workers that if something does not work, this is a chance to take a different approach rather than simply giving up. These are the things that set us apart from the rest.

 

 

 

 

In the Vineyard…

 

  • Paying grape growers for quality and ripeness according to strict criteria. In the early 1980’s Villa Maria was the first winery to introduce a grape grower bonus system where growers were paid based on quality not quantity. Nowadays, Villa Maria is not the only winery who does so but it still retains a high focus as a significant part of what we produce.
  • The only New Zealand wine company that has a vine nursery. Vines cultivated here have to meet the NZ Grafted Grapevine Standard which have obvious benefits in terms of planting our own vineyards with vines of the highest health and quality. We are importing new and our won planting material for example new clones of Chard and Pinot Noir is last 3 years
  • Manage our vineyards in small parcels of fruit. Much like 40 years ago, yet now with many more parcels, we prune and manage our fruit all season as unique parcels and then harvest them separately.
  • We employ the best in the industry. Currently, we have four NZ Viticulturists of the Year a part of the Villa Maria team, which evidently attracts the best people who are passionate about growing great quality wines. Jonathan Hamlet is the Chair of Organic Winegrowers NZ, Emma Taylor is on the NZ Winegrowing Sustainability Committee and Paul Robinson is the Technical Officer for the Gimblett Gravels Association. We also run a Viticulture Cadetship, taking young graduates and giving them a wide scope of experience in the industry. Likewise, Chief Winemaker Nick has been awarded Winemaker of the Year titles across different national and international competitions 5 times. 

In the winery:

The commitment to quality continues in the winery in order to maintain consistent quality of each tier irrespective of vintage characteristics. This process is done through declassifying inferior grapes even for our Private Bin wines. 

  • Continue to foster innovation in all areas of winemaking. From equipment used, our winemaking philosophies, different trials and even our R&D wines (Research and Development) which is often the most exciting as it has a consumer focus.
  • Strict quality processes from the vineyard and throughout the winemaking process. One of Villa Maria’s largest commitments to quality has been the 100% conversion to screwcap in 2001. This was implemented for no compromises or acceptance of cork-related faults. To maintain quality throughout our processes, we employ winery Cellar Hands (as opposed to operations people) handling the wine up to the bottling filler which our Winemakers sign off before commencing bottling.
  • Higher degree of quality control throughout all aspects of production High quality bottling line with strict specifications in place (Dissolved oxygen and co2 levels etc) to maintain quality throughout. Winery cellar hands (as opposed to operations people) handling the wine up to the bottling filler and Winemakers signing off before commencing bottling – closely maintaining quality

Villa Maria takes great pride in our commitment to quality throughout the entire winemaking process so our consumers can be assured that every glass of Villa Maria wine is of exceptional quality.

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Awatere Valley