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Alistair Maling MW group winemaker at Villa Maria

This show was published 06 November 2009


Alistair Maling MW is group winemaker for New Zealand winery Villa Maria. Alistair explains his role and discusses how the Villa Maria range is segmented.

As group winemaker Alistair must decide on the wine styles and how the wines are going to be made. He gives his winemakers as much autonomy as possible at the vintage and gets involved as each vintage unfolds, making calls such as when to pick. Post vintage he's involved in the blending to ensure the right wine style for the different markets. Many of the wines are entered into wine shows to win awards - a strategy that is central to Villa Maria's marketing - their strapline is 'New Zealand's most awarded winery'!

Villa Maria has a wide range of vineyards that are identified as blocks and small parcels of land. The entry level Private Bin range is about consistency of product and purity of fruit with low levels of oak. Approachable wines that are easy to drink. Moving up to the middle tier is the Cellar Selection (gold label) which, because of the top-down approach (using grapes not quite good enough for the top end wines), always over delivers in quality vs price. At the top tier are the Reserve and Single Vineyard wines with sub-regional characteristics and more unique styles and flavours.


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