Iconic New Zealand winery, Villa Maria, has its sights firmly set on the future. Next year will mark the wine company’s 60th anniversary and the family-owned business has ambitions for further growth.
The global wine market is a fiercely competitive environment to be operating in, yet Villa Maria is set up for success, says Villa Maria CEO Justin Liddell. “The wine market continually evolves, and a wine business should be no different. We pride ourselves on being well connected to customers and understanding consumer preference, and we are continually working to increase our profile in the international markets. Having a clear direction of where we want to go and a real focus on quality winemaking as well as the health of our brands is important, combined with a very capable and energetic team.”
The recent appointment of Matt Deller MW as Chief Global Sales and Marketing Officer is a step in this evolutionary path. Deller holds the coveted Master of Wine certification and joined Villa Maria earlier this month bringing over 20 years’ experience in global distribution expansion and strategic wine marketing.
With a bottle of Villa Maria wine selling every 2.5 seconds on average in the UK, one of New Zealand wine’s largest export markets, the brand continues to go from strength to strength says Deller MW. “We are very fortunate to have a rich history beginning in 1961 when Sir George Fistonich created Villa Maria with the goal of making premium wine with an unwavering commitment to quality. This unchanged vision coupled with a focus on being market-driven and connecting with consumers in a meaningful way will set us up well for the next chapter of Villa Maria.”
While accolades of Wine of the Show at the New Zealand Wine Awards (Villa Maria Cellar Selection Syrah 2018), and Winestate’s Wine of the Year 2019 (Villa Maria Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2018) are testament to the quality of Villa Maria’s wines, the recent launch of ‘Vintage’ the first ever feature-length documentary on making wine in New Zealand shows Villa Maria is not afraid to push boundaries and try something new.
“We celebrate our awards but we do not rest on our laurels. We strive to work smarter, innovate, look to the future, listen to the consumer, all while making the best wine we can,” says Karen Fistonich, Villa Maria Director. This combination of reliably consistent world-class wine and a drive for innovation and evolution from the top suggests the future is bright for Villa Maria.