Villa Maria's story begins in 1961, at just 21 year's of age, when Sir George Fistonich leased five acres of land from his father in Mangere, Auckland and started off with just an acre of vines. A year later, he harvested his first grapes in 1952 and made his first wine under the name Villa Maria.
Throughout the 1960's, Villa Maria was a one man band with George's Wife, Gail supporting him in his venture. He would make dry red and white wines, sourcing the grapes from the greater Auckland regions. However this changed in the early 1970's when the company started to expand and employ staff. Today, Villa Maria now employs over more than 250 permanent staff and now exports wine to over 50 countries worldwide.
In 1995, Villa Maria now became an accredited member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ). It was many years later in 2009 where George Fistonich recieved the country's first Knighthood for his services to the New Zealand wine industry. In 2012, Villa Maria has celebrated over 50 years of exceptional winemaking celebrations.
Villa Maria wines are now available to buy at The Blue Bell.
The McGuigan story begins in 1880 where Owen McGuigan begins to work on the vineyards in the Hunter Valley. His spirit and hard work laid the foundations for the McGuigan family legacy. Perc McGuigan, the son of Owen works his way up from tending vines to managing a major Hunter Valley winery during the 1930s where the celler door was always open to new ideas and new friends.
Perc was always at the forefront- passing his ideas down the family line to sons Neil and Brian. In recognition of his role of shaping the Hunters wine success, Perc was inducted as a Hunter Valley Living Legend. 30 years later, The McGuigan name becomes synonymous with Australians wines new wave. Brian McGuigan brings a fresh approach to winemaking and running a winery.
He did this by first managing a highly successful Hunter Valley Winery and then building his own major wine business after that with the help of his wife Fay and younger brother Neil. Later in life, Brian joins his father Perc in being named a Hunter Valley Living Legend.
Many years later, McGuigan Wines is now officialy started by Brian McGuigan and wife Fay in 1992. Younger brother Neil brings his winemaking talents to the winery. Sharing their love of good wine, passion, dedication and a commitment to quality wine, the trio are the driving force behind McGuigan Wines.
In 2002, McGuigan wines now becomes the 4th Largest Australian Winemakers by partnering with Simeon Wines. What's more cruical was the McGuigan family retaining control of the business with Neil, Fay and Brian McGuigan all commited to continuing the McGuigan wines ongoing success. And now in the current year, McGuigan's wines has an outstanding IWSC success with being crowned International Winemaker of the Year and winning many over awards for their work. McGuigan's Wines was also adjudged as the worlds best by their peers- a remarkable achievement for Winemaker and CEO- Neil McGuigan.
The award winning McGuigan wine is now avaiable to buy at The Blue Bell.
From their first vintage wine winning gold and the coveted "Marquis de Goulaine Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc of the competition at the 22nd International Wine and Spirit competion is London in 1991, it is shown that Oyster Bay has continued to define the style and stature of New Zealand wines.
Oyster Bay takes its name from the local " Oyster Bay" on the tip of New Zealand's majestic South Island. Giles Kime, a leading London wine writer describes Oyster Bay as "pretty close to being the elusive stuff of dreams".
Oyster Bay's reputation has been built from vines grown in Marlborough's central Wairau Valley. This valley is now known as one of the great wine growing regions of the world. With its cool, sunny, climates and its shallow, stony soils, Marlborough is described as " one of the greatest places on earth to grow vines producing the worlds most remarkable wines".
Oyster Bay wine is now avaiable to buy at The Blue Bell
Sauvignon Blanc 13% ABV: Enticing tropical flavours, zesty freshness and a fragrant passionfruit scent, Savignon Blanc is the wine for you.