In a stunning display of consistent excellence, Villa Maria Estate was on Wednesday announced New Zealand Winery of the Year for the 12th time in 15 years by leading Australian wine magazine Winestate at an exclusive awards ceremony held in Remuera, Auckland.
Villa Maria not only took out the top award, but also went home with a category trophy and two finalist's plaques. The iconic New Zealand winery won the Merlot category with the Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Merlot 2009, and also made the finals with its Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Merlot 2010 and the Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Dry Riesling 2011.
Villa Maria Senior Auckland winemaker Nick Picone was proud to accept the prestigious accolade. "I'm elated to accept this award today especially in the face of such tough competition. Our team of winemakers and viticulturists across New Zealand are always working hard to ensure the wine we produce is of the best quality possible." This was the second honour for Nick within the week, having been named Australasia's Young Winemaker of the Year just a few days earlier.
These exceptional results once again cemented Villa Maria's reputation as a top-class industry leading wine producer. The awards ceremony was hosted by renowned winewriter Michael Cooper, and major awards were presented by Winestate founder and CEO Peter Simic. The presentation luncheon also showcased the best of Australian and New Zealand wines of 2012.