Villa Maria Estates
Sir George Fistonich founded the company in 1961, leasing a 5ha plot of land on Kirkbride Road in Mangere, Auckland from his parents. The company relocated to a larger site on Montgomerie Road in the same suburb, and has since vastly expanded, but remains to this day, a family-owned and operated business.
Villa Maria Estate has a portfolio of seven major brands: Villa Maria, Vidal, Esk Valley, Thornbury, Riverstone, Kidnapper Cliffs and Te Awa.
As well as the domestic market, Villa Maria Estate's wines are distributed across Europe, North America and the Caribbean, Asia, Australia, as well as to the Pacific Islands.
Villa Maria has four tiers of wine: Reserve, Single Vineyard, Cellar Selection and Private Bin. Vidal covers three tiers: Legacy, Reserve and Estate. Esk Valley also covers three tiers: The Terraces, Winemaker's Reserve and Esk Valley Range. The Terraces is usually sold en primeur and is only produced during selected vintages. Te Awa produces two tiers: Te Awa and Leftfield. Thornbury, Kidnapper Cliffs and Riverstone operate on a single-tier basis.
In terms of wine styles, like many New Zealand wineries, it produces Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, 'Bordeaux' varieties (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec), Pinot Noir and Riesling. Other less common varietals produced are Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Verdelho, Syrah, Grenache, Chenin Blanc, Albarino and Arneis.
Villa Maria Estate has wineries at its sites in Auckland, Blenheim (Marlborough) and Hawke's Bay, with bottling occurring at the Auckland site. The Auckland site was the first major New Zealand winery to achieve BioGro status in early 2009. There is also active involvement in CEMARS and compliance with ISO140001.
Sustainability plays a huge part in the ethos of Villa Maria Estate  and the design of both the Auckland and Marlborough wineries encompasses the drive towards reducing carbon emissions.
Cellar doors are open to the public at their Esk Valley, Vidal, Te Awa, Marlborough and Auckland wineries. All these sites, except Marlborough, are home to on-site cafes or restaurants. Event facilities for corporate or private functions are also available at the Auckland site, as well as Vidal and Te Awa.
Villa Maria Estate was named the supreme winner at the New Zealand Sustainable Business Network awards in November 2012.
Villa Maria Estate has achieved consistently well in numerous wine award shows across its brand portfolio. It is regarded as being the most awarded New Zealand winery.
- David Hayward The University of Auckland: The Largest NZ Wine Companies in Cat. 3 (over 2 million litres of production).
- Villa Maria Vineyards: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 April 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
- About Us: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 December 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
- Wine Atlas of New Zealand, Michael Cooper, 2nd edition
- Based on plantings and production in New Zealand- New Zealand winegrowers website http://www.nzwine.com/wine-styles/
- Grape Varieties from Villa Maria Estate website - www.villamaria.co.nz
- "Villa Maria's sustainability winning awards". 3 News NZ. 26 November 2012.