The fruit for this wine comes from a variety of vineyards in the Awatere Valley, featuring a spread of vine ages and viticultural techniques. The common thread through all the vineyards is close attention to vine balance and health. This enables the vineyard to optimise the ‘site expression’ and unique characteristics of the Awatere Valley.
From a one-man band to a global brand in just 50 years
In 1961, at just 21 years of age, George leased five acres of land from his father in Mangere, Auckland and started off with just an acre of vines. He harvested his first grapes in 1962 and made his first wine under the name Villa Maria.
Throughout the 1960s Villa Maria was a one-man band, with George’s wife, Gail, supporting him in his venture. He made dry red and white wines, sourcing grapes from the greater Auckland regions. In the early 1970s he started to employ staff and the company began to expand rapidly.
Today, Villa Maria employs more than 250 permanent staff and exports wine to over 50 countries worldwide.