Villa Maria is celebrating unprecedented success after the 2018 Winestate Magazine Awards ceremony in Queenstown last week. The family-owned winery was named the New Zealand Wine Company of the Year and Villa Maria Group Chief Winemaker Nick Picone was honoured with the prestigious Winemaker of the Year title. The Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2015 was awarded Merlot of the Year, whilst the Villa Maria Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc 2017 won Sauvignon Blanc of the Year. The sought-after Winestate Wine of the Year trophy was awarded to Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2015, which also won Cabernet of the Year.
“Villa Maria has a special place in the New Zealand wine world,” commented Winestate Magazine Editor Michael Cooper, “and its claim to be ‘New Zealand’s most awarded winery’ is easy to justify.”
The array of fantastic results is a coup for Villa Maria, who pride themselves on having a team of passionate people who make exceptional wines, said Group Chief Winemaker Nick Picone. “It is humbling to receive these awards because I work with an extremely talented team and it is their passion that ultimately influences the quality of our wines. This approach, between the vineyard and the winery, is at the very core of our success.”
The Villa Maria team are thrilled with all of the awards, however the esteemed Wine of the Show is a particular highlight said Nick Picone. “To receive the Winestate Australasian Wine of the Year trophy for our Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2015 is nothing short of a huge result! This accolade speaks volumes for how far New Zealand has come in the world of red wine and has additional significance given the blind tasting was conducted by an all Australian judging panel. Australia typically overshadows New Zealand when it comes to full bodied red wines particularly Cabernet Sauvignon so this is a huge breakthrough and an incredible endorsement of the unique terroir of Gimblett Gravels and the world class wines produced in the sub-region. Of our many awards over the years I have to admit this is very special and will certainly rank very highly for our committed and passionate team.”
Villa Maria has won Winestate New Zealand Wine Company of the Year an astonishing 16 times in the last 21 years the competition has been running. These awards reflect the culmination of outstanding 5 star reviews Villa Maria has received within the Winestate Magazine publication throughout the year.
Winestate Wine of the Year results:
Wine Company of the Year – Villa Maria
Winemaker of the Year – Nick Picone
Wine of the Year & Cabernet of the Year – Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2015
Sauvignon Blanc of the Year – Villa Maria Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Merlot of the Year – Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2015