The fruit for these wines are sourced predominantly from vineyards located across the Hawkes Bay region. An array of soil profiles combined with high sunshine hours and low rainfall makes the Hawkes Bay New Zealand’s ‘home’ to the French Bordeaux varieties Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. A significant portion of the grapes are grown in Villa Maria’s vineyards in close proximity to Gimblett Road. The free draining gravelly soil here has a devigourating affect on vines and results in red wines with enhanced structure, flavour and colour.
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.