Sir George FistonichFounder and President
With origins in Croatia, George is our dynamic driving force. A hugely passionate enthusiast, he has made Villa Maria the most successful independently owned wine company in New Zealand. It is his tireless dedication to the New Zealand wine industry that in 2005 earned him the title Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit – an honour which led to a formal Knighthood in 2009.
Nick PiconeGroup Chief Winemaker
Nick brings a wealth of experience to this role having been with us for nearly 20 years. Raised in Hawkes Bay, he cut his teeth at boutique producer Esk Valley Estate. From there he moved to Marlborough and then later to Auckland to oversee Villa Maria’s winemaking in Auckland, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne. Nick has also worked vintages at GD Vajra in Barolo, Italy and DeLoach vineyards in California, U.S.A.
Helen MorrisonSenior Marlborough Winemaker
Helen’s passion for wine encouraged her decision to change her career path, completing her Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology as the top female student at Lincoln University, Christchurch in 2005. Helen joined our Marlborough team in January 2014 and loves working for such an iconic, well-awarded, winemaking family. If she hadn’t followed a career in wine she says she might have gone to the ‘dark side’ and become a beer brewer!
Oliver PowrieCompany Viticulturist
Ollie heads up our team of Regional Viticulturists, Vineyard Managers and Grower Liaison Officers scattered throughout New Zealand. He describes his position as a dynamic role which sees him often visiting several New Zealand wine regions in a week. Ollie graduated with a Bachelor of Viticulture from the E.I.T. and Charles Sturt University in 2002 and began his career working for Sacred Hill Wines, working in the Gimblett Gravels sub-region.