In 1978, Villa Maria became New Zealand’s leading award-winning winery – a reputation solidified after the New Zealand Wine Awards Dinner in Wellington, which marked the end of the New Zealand wine awards season. This year Villa Maria won 59 gold medals and 20 trophies from both local and international competitions, four of which were awarded last night.

Villa Maria Founder and President, Sir George Fistonich, said the family-owned winery has always prided themselves on producing the best wines possible.

“This unwavering commitment to quality underpins everything we do,” he said. “These awards are an outcome of a passionate and hard-working team focused on producing world-class wines.”

Sir George Fistonich is a big believer in the importance of wine competitions, not just for Villa Maria but for the New Zealand wine industry as a whole.

“Wine competitions are pivotal in growing our industry here at home yet they are also a means for wineries to demonstrate the excellence of New Zealand wine internationally. The spirit of competition drives quality which ultimately benefits the entire New Zealand wine industry and bolsters our reputation as a world-class wine region overseas. We will continue to enter wine competitions to ensure we are continually delivering what our consumers expect – the best.”