Our history

Over 60 years of winemaking

Villa Maria’s 60 year journey at the forefront of New Zealand’s wine industry has shaped the company as it stands today. Here are some of the great milestones and achievements we have accomplished since day one.


Founding and first vintage

Sir George Fistonich founds Villa Maria leasing five acres off his father in 1961. With just an acre of vines he produces Villa Maria’s first vintage in 1962.


Early growth

Villa Maria purchases its first parcels of land in Marlborough.


Grape quality

Villa Maria is the first winery in New Zealand to reward grape growers for the quality of their fruit – not for the quantity. International exports begin in 1988.



Villa Maria becomes a founding Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) member in 1995. Villa Maria prioritises sustainability and begins initiatives to reduce its environmental impact.


100% cork free

Villa Maria becomes the first major winery in the world to move to 100% screw caps in 2001. Villa Maria’s Marlborough winery is opened in 2000. An all-new Auckland winery is opened in 2005.


An industry icon

Villa Maria is recognised as New Zealand’s Most Admired Wine Brand by Drinks International in 2015. State-of-the-art Hawkes Bay winery is opened in 2018.


A bright future

New Zealand wine company Indevin Group acquires Villa Maria in 2021 to support premium growth ambitions. Villa Maria packaging is refreshed in 2021. Villa Maria celebrates its 60th Anniversary of its first vintage in 2022.