Villa Maria 'Wairau' Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc 2009
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.
Passionate from a young age, wine was a central part of his upbringing. “Being Croatian, wine is part of my blood,” says Fistonich. ‘It’s always been a part of life and I’m pleased to have spent my career pursuing this life-long passion.
Many things have changed since George Fistonich won his first award at the Easter Show in 1962. The half-hectare of grapes in Mangere has turned into vineyards and wineries in four regions around New Zealand. Wines of a dozen grape varieties are exported to 50 countries around the world.But Fistonich could not have imagined how far Villa Maria, and indeed the New Zealand wine industry itself would progress in the years to come. In the early 1970s he started to employ staff and the company began to expand rapidly.
A new winery in Auckland was essential for Villa Maria to meet the increased domestic and export demand for wines and has been designed to allow for long-term growth.
Then Prime Minister Helen Clark officially opened the new winery in February 2005.