Twenty-five years and 60 trophies is the record held by Villa Maria announced at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards at the weekend. It was a special night for the company who received notable mention for the strong trophy history that they have at the awards. When these national wine awards began in 1987 Villa Maria received the very first Champion Wine of the Show for a Gisborne Chardonnay. On Saturday history was repeated when the iconic wine company was awarded the Champion Wine of the Show for a Chardonnay, this time for the Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2010.
Villa Maria Estate Founder and Managing Director Sir George Fistonich commented about the company’s success at these awards, “60 trophies over 25 years is an outstanding achievement and we are ecstatic. In terms of milestones we are clocking up the numbers; next year we’ll celebrate our 50th vintage, we’ve been New Zealand’s most awarded winery for over 30 years and in a personal milestone my wife and I have just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary and a significant birthday for my wife Gail,” he said.
Villa Maria’s performance at the awards this year included four trophies:
Champion Wine of Show – Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2010 Champion Chardonnay – Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2010 Champion Sustainable Wine – Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2010 Champion Merlot – Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Merlot 2009
The champion winning wine from Hawkes Bay has been gaining unprecedented success with an incredible 11 trophies to its name. It has won four Champion Wine of Show awards dominating not only the Chardonnay classes but the entire show at the New Zealand International Wine Show, Hawkes Bay A&P Wine Awards, Bragato Wine Awards and the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.
In addition to the Air New Zealand Wine Awards trophies, Villa Maria won a total of 16 gold medals across nine wine styles, being Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Verdelho, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and dessert wine.
This year’s competition saw 1489 wines entered from ten of the country’s key wine growing regions.