Villa Maria’s driving ambition to take its wines to the world, showing the very best that New Zealand can produce, is underpinned by superior site selection but also by the best practices in the vineyards and wineries.
“The care and craft at every step – from the vineyard to the bottle – shows an unwavering commitment to make outstanding wines,” says Villa Maria Chief Viticulturist Ollie Powrie. Having been with the company for 15 years, he has witnessed Villa Maria’s considered and decisive steps to expand and excel.
The company’s bold growth policy has seen its Single Vineyard collection expand through plots in four different regions of New Zealand, Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, Auckland and Gisborne, showcasing seven grape varieties. The decision of where and how each variety was planted was especially careful and studied.
“The drive to expand Villa Maria’s vineyards was to discover and establish world-class sites and to plant the appropriate varieties on a scale that could take these distinctive wines to the world,” explains Villa Maria chief global sales and marketing officer Matt Deller MW.
Villa Maria’s quest to make the best and most distinctive wines led to the establishment of multiple new vineyards, with the most extreme sites producing the most extreme flavour profiles. Bravely pioneering these sites has been rewarded with fruit that produces wines of extraordinary structure, leading to the successful Villa Maria Single Vineyard series.
“These wines speak of the quality of the vineyards, but also of our winemaking philosophy of boutique attention to this range,” explains Deller. “Hand-picking grapes and keeping all the ferments separate enables us to celebrate the nuance and specific differences of the special sites where we grow grapes.
“We are actually a big wine company making many, many boutique wines,” adds Deller, explaining that each of the Villa Maria Single Vineyard wines comprise only 100 to 1000 dozen bottles. “We understand that the enduring success of Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc gives us the ability to make so many other wines of boutique stature, and we uphold the same exacting standards of quality for all of them.”
Deller says global success has given Villa Maria the mandate to lead and introduce new developments in New Zealand wine. He highlights, with great excitement, the Albariño grown in the Gimblett Gravells area of Hawke’s Bay, which was only planted in 2014 but has already won outstanding critical praise. “Everyone who tastes it says it has the X-factor.”
Villa Maria also confidently promotes its sustainable viticultural practices, with the vegan and 100% certified organic EarthGarden range shining a light on Ollie Powrie’s organic viticulture practices, in place since 1999.
Crafting all these Villa Maria wines happens through the symmetry and teamwork between the company’s winemakers and viticulturists, who together perform blind assessments of all Villa Maria grapes and wines in progress, at least five times each year. The team’s shared knowledge and discussions ensure continual improvement, from the ground up.
“It gives us the confidence to keep striving beyond current expectations,” says Ollie Powrie. “Within Villa Maria, there is not only excitement about producing these wines of excellence, but also what comes next.”
Discover more about Villa Maria here