Villa Maria Estate has been named New Zealand Winery of the Year by WINE Magazine in China. Six well respected wine personalities formed the judging panel for these awards including Debra Meiburg MW, Dennis Lin (wine writer), Ji Yang (wine writer & educator), Ronny Lau (wine judge), Bai Chang (wine judge) and Qi Shaoren (wine educator).
WINE Magazine established these awards to help consumers identify category leaders. New Zealand’s most awarded winery received the top award in the New Zealand category given their market share and influence in the Chinese wine market.
WINE Magazine is the first wine focused consumer publication in China with the aim to be the most authoritative professional magazine in this emerging market.
Villa Maria has exported to China since the inception of Summergate Fine Wines and Spirits in 2000 and was the first brand they carried. The 100% New Zealand owned company is placing a high degree of focus into the Chinese market, as it is their most rapidly growing export market. In 2010, Villa Maria appointed their first dedicated Asia Market Manager, Charlotte Read, and in 2011 they appointed their first China based employee reflecting their commitment to growing the presence of New Zealand wine and Villa Maria in this fast growing market.