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Villa Maria buys Hawkes Bay vineyard

Published:  06 February, 2014

New Zealand's Villa Maria has bought a 41-hectare site in the Gimblett Gravels sub-region of Hawkes Bay.

The property has a vineyard and portion of bare land and will help secure Villa Maria's grape supply. The purchase makes Villa Maria the largest landowner in Gimblett Gravels, owning one third of the winegrowing district.

The land was previously owned and managed by Pask Winery, and has supplied Villa Maria with surplus grapes in the past.

Villa Maria owner and founder Sir George Fistonich said opportunities like this don't come along very often: "There is fierce competition to purchase more vineyards in this very limited premium wine area. We're seeing strong growth in demand for red wines particularly in Asia, so securing our grape supply is crucial to meeting our customer requirements. The Gimblett Gravels is a very unique area renowned for making some of the country's best wines."

Covering 800ha, the Gimblett Gravels Wine Growing District is an appellation defined by soil type, producing full bodied red wines.

Villa Maria has vineyards in Auckland, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Marlborough, and was founded in 1961 by Fistonich.

It makes wines under the Private Bin, Single Vineyard, Reserve, Cellar Selection, and Organic labels as well as a range of "new and interesting wines" including a Private Bin Lightly sparkling Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough and a Single Vineyard Ohitti Gravels Arneis.  

Villa Maria wines are available in the UK via sole UK agent Hatch Mansfield.