Clermont, Kentucky, October 3- Beam officia
The Villa Maria Story
A drink is just a drink; a wine is merely a wine. There are many wines around the world that comes with their own story. How do we differentiate? Everyone has their personal favourites. I believe that when you hear a good story and appreciate the fruits of it, a wine will no longer be just a wine. Now, Villa Maria has a good story to tell, are you ready to hear it?
Being a 100% family owned winery, the moment you’re there and interacting with them, you naturally will feel like a part of this big family. Even though they are quite a distance away, representative(s) of Villa Maria will always drop by Singapore every once to twice a year, so I’m not talking about making your way all the way to NZ, unless you really want to. You don’t need a lifetime to feel comfortable with them; all you need is a dinner.
This is Jonathan Hamlet, one of Villa Maria’s fine viticulturists. He manages Villa Maria’s 65 hectare Joseph Soler Vineyard in Hawkes Bay. We bumped into him at Villa Maria’s Marlborough winery in the afternoon and he managed to whip up a last-minute but absolutely fantastic dinner for that night, together with Oliver Powrie and Stuart Dudley, a recent additional to the team and also our tour guide for the day. Of course, not forgetting Charlotte Read, Riche Lim and myself, our duties were ensure we get the first taste of whatever that is ready to be served, regardless food or wines.
Left: Jonathan Hamlet, Oliver Powrie – Company viticulturalist, Riche Lim – Wine Manager of Beam Global Asia, Stuart Dudley - Marlborough regional viticulturalist
Behind the success of the wines are definitely that people behind the scene, from Sir George Fistonich, the man who founded Villa Maria and turn it to what it is today (which is a great story that will be told another time), their dedicated winemakers, to the devoted and passionate viticulturists and commercial team, and of course, not forgetting the many others that worked hard especially during harvesting period whom contributed long hard hours into processing grapes to wines.
Their passion and enthusiasm towards their job and Villa Maria will definitely rub off on you. Not only are they good at what they do, they are also talented in many ways; like, they all seem to be good at cooking. But one thing I’m sure they all have in common is their sophisticated palate for wine and cuisine.
Left to right: Wayne Johnson, Charlotte Read, Simon Fell, Riche Lim, Sir George Fistonich, Nicole Wong and Rob Ferguson
It’s hard to complain when you’re at a vineyard or winery or even in New Zealand, especially if you haven’t been here. Just over 50, this winery has been through thick and thin, and the stories are like roadmaps that lead to the different results, which in the end, came beautifully together to what it is today.
Villa Maria Marlborough Winery from the apartment – imagine waking up to a view like this, or just enjoying the view after a long hard day of work.
Far into the distance is Clifford Bay
Ultimately, Villa Maria wines are the final piece that completes Villa Maria as a whole as they take you back to all the warmth, cosiness and passions of all the individuals behind the label. Each bottle of wine has a message in a bottle that the estate likes to share with the world about what they truly are.