Villa Maria Wine Tasting Adventure

Villa Maria Wines

For a wine lover, there is nothing like lining up a group of wines from one prestigious winery and taste through them all in one evening…..with friends to share with of course! To be able to sample different wine varieties from the same winery and its different vineyards is a fun and educational experience! We were able to examine the flavor profiles and nuances of each wine which told us the story of the winemaker’s intentions and why they decided on the final product. We did this as a group with New Zealand’s most awarded winery, Villa Maria Winery and Vineyards in Auckland, New Zealand!

Winemaker Helen Morrison

Villa Maria Winery has been producing wonderful wines for over 50 years and Helen Morrison is the Senior Marlborough Winemaker and one of three winemakers for Villa Maria. We were able to pick her brain about the Villa Maria wines as we tasted through them as a group virtually online. With four vineyards at different regions in New Zealand, Villa Maria can get a plethora of exciting wines and all with unique flavors. Here are some of the amazing Villa Maria wines we tasted through recently:

Private Bin Marlborough Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc – Beautiful yellow daybright color with fun and festive fizziness! An enjoyable, refreshing light sparkler with aromas and flavors of passionfruit, citrus, fresh lime, and herb. A definite pairing for appetizers, seafood, medium cheeses, and good times! 90 Points.

Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – The flagship for Villa Maria Winery. Flavors of intense, ripe gooseberry, white citrus, passionfruit, and savory herbs. Pair with white flesh fish, shrimp, chicken, and medium cheeses. 93 Points.

Virtual Wine Tasting

Hawkes Bay Rose’ – Predominantly Pinot Noir based, this Rose’ is a beautiful deep salmon color with the nose of strawberries and pomegranate. Lush flavors of red cherry, strawberry, and spices! Refreshing, balanced, and ready to pair with most everything at your summer barbecue! 88 Points.

Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Chardonnay – Bright golden in color with an exotic, smokey nose. Subtle lemon and Asian Pear flavors with an elegant minerality on the finish. Complex and balanced flavors. Try with grilled seafood or chicken, Chicken Alfredo Pasta, ham, and medium to strong cheeses. 92 Points.

Cellar Selection Marlborough Pinot Noir – Brilliant ruby color with the bouquet of baked cherry pie and spice! Medium bodied across the palate with flavors of ripe black cherry, red berries, baking spices, and a slight earthiness on the finish. Jammy with concentrated flavors. Opened up beautifully after decanting! Pair with lamb, game meats, pork, and medium to strong cheeses. 95 Points.

Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon – Garnet in color with intense aromas of blackberry, ripe black plum, and cedar. Full bodied across the palate with powerful, yet elegant tannins. Bold flavors of lush blackberries, juicy plum, olive, and fresh spices. Rich and seductive nuances that say “Come Hither for more”! On the second sip, more ripe dark berry flavors came through with a hint of tobacco which leads to a long, cedar finish. Complex and layered. Pair with rich red meats like beef, rib-eye steak, pasta with a meat tomato sauce, game, and strong cheeses. 93 points.

Villa Maria Vines

After this eye opening Villa Maria tasting, I realized how much more diverse our local wine stores need to be when stocking the shelves with New Zealand wines. Most wine stores only seem to stock Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir in their New Zealand section but there are so many more good varietals out there that New Zealand is producing. And we should be asking for them from our local stores as consumers! So let’s not be content at being befuddled at our wine stores and tell them to bring in more Villa Maria wines like the Taylors Pass Chardonnay, the Rose’, and Cabernet Merlot blend! We all deserve a great wine variety selection!

To check out the Villa Maria Winery tasting online, go to and go to the Videos section. You will find this Villa Maria Virtual Tasting along with many others videos from previous tastings with other wineries and winemakers. The Villa Maria Winery website is located at Cheers to Villa Maria Winery, Helen Morrison, and to drinking amazing wines everyday!

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