Villa Maria Named No. 1 Most Admired Wine Brand in New Zealand


For the fourth year in a row Villa Maria has been named one of the most admired wine brands in the world. Villa Maria is the highest ranking New Zealand winery in this year’s “World’s Most Admired Wine Brand” list.

Sir George Fistonich, founder and president Villa Maria

Sir George Fistonich, founder and president Villa Maria

The judges focus on consistency or improvement in quality, the wine being a true reflection of the country of origin, and meeting the needs and tastes of its target consumer. Alongside this the judges consider marketing and packaging and the appeal of the wine to a wide demographic.

For a relatively young winemaking nation like New Zealand, inclusion on this list is immensely powerful for New Zealand wine and the New Zealand export sector, said Sir George Fistonich, founder and president of Villa Maria Estate. “Being named as the most admired wine brand in New Zealand four years in a row is testament to the level of quality our wines consistently deliver and shows we exceed in all the award criteria. It’s such an amazing recognition for Villa Maria and I’m incredibly proud that we continue to rate the highest New Zealand winery on this most prestigious of lists.”

Abe Salt, CEO and Sir George Fistonich, founder and president Villa Maria

Abe Salt, CEO and Sir George Fistonich, founder and president Villa Maria

Villa Maria has all the foundations in place to continue on this trajectory of success and recognition, said newly appointed CEO Abe Salt. “George has built an incredibly passionate and talented team of winemakers and viticulturists who have an unwavering commitment to making quality wine sustainably. News of our inclusion on this list reaffirms my belief that I have joined the Villa Maria family at an exciting time and look forward to contributing to the success and future growth of the company.”

A leader in sustainability, innovation and quality, Villa Maria is a family owned winery recognised as an icon in the New Zealand wine industry.

The ‘Most Admired Wine Brand’ list is operated by Drinks International – one of the world’s leading and most respected drinks magazine for alcoholic beverages. It is compiled annually by polling wine industry experts. They are key buyers, wine writers, journalists, Masters of Wine and wine educators who consider more than 100,000 wineries for this accolade. These range from highly expensive iconic wines to commercial brands stocked at supermarkets and other retail outlets. The wine brands reviewed come from all regions, and their styles and qualities are rated against each other.

Votes are based on the following:

•         The wine is of consistent or improving quality

•         It reflects its region or country of origin

•         It responds to the needs and tastes of its target audience

•         It is well marketed and packaged

•         It has strong appeal to a wide demographic