Brits have fallen in love with the wines of New Zealand. The affair probably has much to do with the colonial heritage, but it also has a great deal to do with the excellent, benchmark wines that are produced here. The story must begin with Sauvignon Blanc, but certainly doesn’t end there. Since the 1970s the region of Marlborough has become the go-to area, perhaps in the world, for bright, crystalline ‘Savs’ which gave the French something to think about. But now, it is becoming as equally famous for its Pinots, which are now beyond just being less expensive alternatives to Burgundy, instead showing regional characteristics, from the dark cherry and spice of Central Otago to the brawn and dried herbs of Martinborough.
A special mention goes to the Chardonnays of Kumeu River of Auckland, as these are some of the most remarkable wines from this variety in the Southern Hemisphere.
Villa Maria was founded in 1961 by Sir George Fistonich, originally a few hectares of land in Auckland. Now they are among New Zealand's largest wine producers, encompassing vineyards from nearly all of the country's wine regions. Despite their size, they are still 100% family owned. At Noble Grape we are great fans of their wines: they are for us, they are benchmark examples of their type, pretty much across the board in everything they do. From the Bordeaux-beating reds from Hawkes Bay to the bright and crystalline Savs from Marlborough.