In 1961, at just 21 years of age, George leased five acres of land from his father in Mangere, Auckland and started off with just an acre of vines. He harvested his first grapes in 1962 and made his first wine under the name Villa Maria.
Throughout the 1960s Villa Maria was a one-man band, with George’s wife, Gail, supporting him in his venture. He made dry red and white wines, sourcing grapes from the greater Auckland regions. In the early 1970s he started to employ staff and the company began to expand rapidly.Today, Villa Maria employs more than 250 permanent staff and exports wine to over 50 countries worldwide.
- NZ - Marlborough
- New Zealand
Winery Tasting Notes
The Cellar Selection Pinot Gris displays attractive perfumed aromas of fresh ripe pear, white flowers and hints of exotic spices such as clove and star anise. This wine has a textural palate dominated by white peach, almond and ginger characters, with a delicate underlying acidity creating a lengthy and harmonious finish.
Pair with lightly spiced Asian cuisine or a fresh summer salad with shredded crab meat.
VINEYARD & WINEMAKING
The first half of the 2014 vintage was warm and dry and the Pinot Gris fruit was harvested in pristine condition in the last two weeks of March. Regular tasting in the vineyard was ensured to capture the flavours at their peak.
A combination of natural and cultured yeasts are selected to enhance aromatics and textural elements during the fermentation process in both stainless steel tanks and seasoned French barriques.