Villa Maria Takes Top Spot at New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards


Villa Maria has been awarded the highly coveted title of New Zealand Wine of the Year with the Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2018 taking away the prestigious Wine of the Year trophy.  The same wine also won Champion Syrah and Best Wine – Hawkes Bay.

Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Syrah vintages 2006, 2013 and 2018 also won Champion Wine of Provenance at the awards (the Champion Wine of Provenance celebrates a wines’ consistency of quality and ability to age over ten years).

“The awards bestowed upon our 2018 Syrah’s continue the run of incredible success enjoyed over 15 years of previous vintages of this variety.  They are testament to the uncompromised approach to quality and attention to detail at every stage of production from the vineyard through to the winery,” said Nick Picone, Group Chief Winemaker for Villa Maria.

Villa Maria was awarded a total of six trophies and 12 gold medals at the New Zealand Wine of the Year Competition on Saturday, the official wine competition of the New Zealand wine industry.  This brings the total medal count for Villa Maria to 241 from both local and international wine shows this year, an increase of 14% compared to last year’s results. Villa Maria continues its long-held status as New Zealand’s Most Awarded Winery.

“Villa Maria is a family-owned winery and we have always prided ourselves on producing the best wines possible. Our commitment to quality underpins everything we do and these awards are an outcome of a passionate and hard-working team focused on producing world-class wines,” Nick continued.

Our perennial performer was Syrah, scooping six trophies and seven gold medals at local and international competitions and our Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2018 has also been named in the New World Wine Awards Top 50 wines. Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2018 also came out on top in the Syrah category at the Hawkes Bay Wine Awards, receiving Champion Syrah and Outstanding Wine of Provenance.  It also features in Air New Zealand’s Fine Wines of New Zealand list.

“What stands out for me in the 2018 vintage is the captivating fragrance of the wines, they are so distinctive and hard to confuse with anything else. Deep in colour, wonderfully perfumed, laden with dark berries and exotic spices – the wines are supple and silk-like in texture.  We are delighted to offer these incredible wines to our consumers so they can enjoy and appreciate this amazing vintage as much as we do,” he said.

Pinot Gris was another high-achieving variety with five gold medals across the Villa Maria range, a sign of consistent quality.  Most notable was Villa Maria Private Bin East Coast Pinot Gris 2019, awarded Champion Pinot Gris at this years’ New World Wine Awards.

Villa Maria is New Zealand’s most awarded winery and one of the top three most admired wine brands in the world. Our story began in 1961 as a one-man band when Sir George Fistonich planted an acre of vines on land he’d leased from his family. Now, Villa Maria is one of New Zealand’s most awarded family owned wineries and a global brand, known for industry-changing innovation with an emphasis on sustainable practices. For more information, please visit www.villamariawines.com or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

A summary of recent Villa Maria gold medals and trophies:

New Zealand Wine of the Year Competition 2019 Trophies:
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2018
New Zealand Wine of the Year

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2018
Champion Syrah

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2018
Best Wine – Hawkes Bay

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2018
Best Wine – Auckland

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Viognier 2018
Champion Other White Wine

Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2018, 2013 & 2006
Champion Wine of Provenance

Gold Medals:

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Riesling 2018
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2018
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2017
Villa Maria Single Vineyard ‘The Attorney’ Pinot Noir 2017
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir 2015
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Merlot 2018
Villa Maria Private Bin Hawkes Bay Merlot 2018
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Syrah 2018
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Syrah 2014

New Zealand International Wine Show 2019 Gold Medals:

Villa Maria Private Bin East Coast Pinot Gris 2019
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Gris 2018
Villa Maria Private Bin Hawkes Bay Merlot 2018
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Merlot 2018
Villa Maria Platinum Selection Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2018
Villa Maria Reserve Gisborne Barrique Fermented Chardonnay 2017
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2018
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2017
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2018
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Pinot Noir 2017
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir 2015

New World Wine Awards 2019 Trophies:

Villa Maria Private Bin East Coast Pinot Gris 2019
Champion Pinot Gris & Top 50

Gold Medals:

Villa Maria Platinum Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Gold & Top 50
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2017 – Gold & Top 50
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018 – Gold
Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018 – Gold

Hawkes Bay Bayley A&P Wine Awards 2019 Trophies:

Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2018 – Champion Syrah & Outstanding Wine of Provenance (2018, 2013 & 2006)
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Merlot 2018 – Champion Red Blend Merlot Dominant
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 – Champion Commercial Red

Gold Medals:
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2018 – Gold
Villa Maria Platinum Selection Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2018 – Gold

Marlborough Wine Show 2019 Gold Medals:
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Gris 2018 – Gold
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir 2016 – Gold
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Riesling 2018 – Gold

Six Nations Wine Challenge 2019 Gold Medals:

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Sauvignon Blanc 2018 – Double Gold
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2017 – Double Gold
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Chardonnay 2017 – Double Gold
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Botrytis Selection Riesling 2016 – Double Gold
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2016 – Gold