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Villa Maria kicks off Harvest 2023

Harvest is the time we come together with collective passion to put in the hard work that allows us to create our cherished wines.

“Harvest represents the culmination of a year's worth of hard work and dedication to the vines. It is a time of excitement and anticipation, as we carefully pick each precious block, knowing that it will ultimately determine the quality and character of the wine. The grape harvest is a moment of both pride and relief, as the fruits of our labour are finally realised,” says Rhys Hall, Group Technical Viticulturist.  

Three regions of our beautiful country are unified by one goal – to produce the very best wine each region offers. “Retaining the vibrant fruit expression and juicy natural acidity that are synonymous with New Zealand wine is key,” says Patrick Materman, Head of Winegrowing. 


Calender  Mid-February to Mid-March

Vineyard  Renowned for McDiarmid Hill vineyard

grape  Chardonnay

As the first place in the world to see the sun, it’s fitting that harvest begins in Gisborne. Home to expansive fertile plains framed by forested hills on one side and coastline on the other, the region’s landscape is dramatic, and it’s no surprise to see this drama reflected in its wines.  

The generous sunshine Gisborne provides enables us to create highly aromatic Chardonnay that is rich, lush and bursting with fruit. They are as impressive as they are distinct.  

Hawke’s Bay

Calender  Late-February to Mid-March 

Vineyard  Renowned for Keltern, Braided Gravels and Twyford Gravels vineyards 

grape  Chardonnay,  Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot 

As New Zealand’s oldest grape growing region, Hawke’s Bay commands respect with its powerful and elegant Bordeaux blends, and full-bodied, opulent Chardonnays. Such depth requires our grapes to hang on the vines just a little longer, soaking in every last bit of sunshine to soften and sweeten their intense flavours and ripen their tannins. 

With north-facing ranges running down to expansive alluvial plains that stretch out to meet the large, curved coastline, Hawke’s Bay’s varied landscape allows a diverse range of varieties to flourish. 


Calender  Mid-March to Early-April 

Vineyard  Renowned for Seddon, Taylors Pass and Seaspray vineyard 

grape  Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay 

Last but by no means least, we finish harvest in the cooler South Island. Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine region, world-famous for its crisp, fruit-driven Sauvignon Blanc. International demand for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has allowed the region’s wine industry to blossom allowing other varietals, such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, to flourish. Marlborough is a unique combination of a cool, yet high sunshine climate. The region’s low rainfall and free-draining, moderately fertile soil produces uniquely vivid wines, allowing us to capture the fruitiness and crisp acidity of the grapes grown here. 

Awatere Valley 

Awatere Valley - the driest, coolest, and windiest subregion - is dominated by its river and flood plains. Dramatic river terraces have been carved out, creating free draining sites with alluvial gravels along the banks of the river and clay and sandstone subsoils on the wider river plains. This terroir alongside cooler, windier conditions influence the profiles of wines produced here, with a more herbaceous and mineral-driven style Sauvignon Blanc. 

Wairau Valley 

Wairau Valley vineyards are planted in the old, gravelly, riverbed soils of the Wairau River which now form the base of the Richmond Range. Naturally free-draining soils range from old stony riverbeds to fine, deep, alluvial soils produce Sauvignon Blanc that is riper, tropical and more pungent in style. 

Discover More about our Regions

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Awatere Valley