A blend of fruit from several Hawkes Bay vineyards, a region considered to be New Zealandís home for the Bordeaux varietals Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruit is taken predominantly from the renowned Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district, namely Omahu Gravels, Ngakirkiri and Twyford Gravels. The free-draining gravelly soils and warm conditions of the Gimblett Gravels encourage low yields and devigourated vines.
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 Georgeís 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.