Villa Maria Estate
U.S. Tour 2010 – September/October

Four winemakers and one viticulturist from New Zealand’s Villa Maria Estate traveled the United States in Mid-September to early October to promote their award-winning wines. Each spent two weeks in a different region of the United States attending meetings with key trade, media and consumers. The winemakers were George Geris (Northeast), Gywneth Olsen (Southeast), Murray Cook (central U.S.), and Nick Piccone (West). Head Viticulturist Ollie Powrie traveled the Pacific Northwest.

The Villa Maria story is one of absolute passion. The winery was founded in 1961 by George Fistonich who, through his dedication to quality, has led Villa Maria to become the New Zealand wine icon it is today. His entrepreneurial spirit has seen Villa Maria push the boundaries in every aspect of winemaking. Villa Maria was the first wine company in New Zealand to declare the winery a “cork-free zone,” sealing all wines from the 2004 vintage onwards with a screwcap to ensure quality in every bottle. It was also the first New Zealand producer to employ professional viticulturists. In addition, being environmentally responsible has long been a key driver for Fistonich, who says that as a family company, the desire to leave something for the next generation is an ever-present and overriding business objective.

Villa Maria sources grapes from New Zealand’s premium grape growing regions: Marlborough, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne and Waipara and produces wines in state-of-the-art winemaking facilities in Auckland and Marlborough. The Villa Maria portfolio consists of four wine ranges; Private Bin, Cellar Selection, Reserve and Single Vineyard. Each wine is crafted in the unique, fruit-driven style of New Zealand, showcasing the very best of the country’s distinct wine regions. Villa Maria is New Zealand’s most awarded winery.

See more about Villa Maria Estate at www.villamaria.co.nz