World first for NZ wine industry

The New Zealand wine industry is celebrating after a local brand was named among the top three most admired wine brands in the world. 

Villa Maria has been awarded the coveted title of the third 'Most Admired Wine Brand in the World' at an awards ceremony in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Villa Maria Founder and President, Sir George Fistonich said it was an absolute honour.

"New Zealand is a relatively young winemaking nation and to be in the top three wine brands in the world is immensely powerful for New Zealand wine and the New Zealand export sector," he said.

"I'm very excited about the future of our whole industry," said Sir George.

He said the award was a testament to the unrelenting passion, enthusiasm and intelligence of winemaking and viticulture teams. 

Sir George Fistonich said it was an absolute honour.
Sir George Fistonich said it was an absolute honour. Photo credit: Supplied

New Zealand Winegrowers Chief Executive Officer Philip Gregan said the New Zealand wine had become a $1.7 billion international success story because our wine producers have always delivered real value to consumers.

"This award highlights the on-going success of New Zealand wine brands as they compete for the attention of consumers across the globe," he said.

The 'Most Admired Wine Brand' awards are operated by Drinks International magazine and UK based global research company Wine Intelligence. The awards are judged by more than 130 industry experts.