It is not easy to tell your Dad that you are quitting a career in carpentry to try your hand at making wine. But in 1961, at the age of 21, that's exactly what Sir George Fistonich did. He leased five acres of land from his father, planted one acre with grapes and started making wine under the name 'Villa Maria'. Since those first cuttings took hold in the soil out in Mangere, near Auckland, Sir George has been determined to be at the cutting edge of quality winegrowing.
Sir George Fistonich, Owner and Managing Director 'Uppermost in my mind as we grow is that we should maintain the principles with which we started over 50 years ago: the pursuit of quality, innovation and passion for a particular style that is New Zealand. Above all, we want to make wines that everyone can enjoy, everywhere.'
Still 100% New Zealand and family owned, Villa Maria Estate, still headquartered in Auckland has gone from strength to strength over the last 50 years and is now distributed in over 50 countries worldwide. Sir George's dedication to quality remains unwavering and as a result, Villa Maria Estate has claimed the title of New Zealand's Most Awarded Winery for over thirty consecutive years.