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Throughout its 60 years of winemaking, Villa Maria has led the pack when it comes to sustainability, innovation, and quality in New Zealand, maintaining those principles from their pinnacle icon wines to their everyday, entry-level ones. Though they will continue to be crafted with the same sustainable philosophies and attention to detail that they always have been, Villa Maria’s Private Bin collection is getting a makeover, making these fruit-driven wines even easier to identify and enjoy.
When George Fistonich founded Villa Maria in 1961, he was likely unaware it would have such a far-reaching impact. At the time, he was much more focused on making wine from a five-acre vineyard in Auckland. Since then, Villa Maria has grown well beyond its modest roots. Seeing the promise in Hawke’s Bay’s ancient riverbeds, they purchased vineyards there in 1975, which added varieties like Merlot to their portfolio. Shortly thereafter, they expanded yet again—this time into sunny Marlborough, where they planted Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
As a family-owned company, Villa Maria has also been mindful of their responsibility to future generations, embracing a “step lightly” philosophy from the very beginning. Their commitment can be seen in their move towards organic viticulture and resolve to reduce their carbon footprint.
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But Villa Maria’s sustainability initiatives are not limited to New Zealand’s shores. They’ve also recently partnered with the Billion Oyster Project to help restore oyster reefs in New York Harbor.
Villa Maria now grows over two dozen different grape varieties and boasts six wine collections, including Private Bin, a collection of sustainably made, fruit-driven wines from Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay. The wines are crafted in an elegant, vibrant style and are suitable for any occasion. Their new, innovative packaging reflects this versatility and was redesigned with consumers top of mind.
Label information has been reorganized for greater clarity, with the variety and region name more prominently displayed and Private Bin written in gold cursive at the bottom. The bottle is a darker green, which also makes the cream-colored label stand out on a crowded shelf. The updated black-and-white screw cap shows New Zealand’s rugged landscape in greater detail, connecting consumers to the wine’s terroir every time they crack open a bottle. The new design threads the needle between subtlety and sophistication and can be found on the Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough Pinot Noir, and Hawke’s Bay Rosé.
The design changes are bold, but innovative packaging is nothing new for Villa Maria—after all, they were the first New Zealand winery to completely switch from cork to screw cap closures. The company has been pushing boundaries ever since its founding, and while it’s impossible to predict what the next 60 years will bring, if the past is any indication more bold changes lie ahead.