2019 Villa Maria First Sip of Fall Tweetup


It’s hard to believe the holidays are are almost here. ‘Tis the season to party hearty and we have some holiday wine advice that won’t leave you empty handed.

The most common question I get from wine lovers around the world is “What’s a good wine for under $20 that I can bring to a party?” We are teaming up on twitter with our good friends at Villa Maria to answer that very question!

Holiday Meal Must Haves with Villa Maria

2019 Villa Maria First Sip of Fall TweetupTag along on twitter as our group of wine experts wine you and guide you with the newly released 2019 vintage of Villa Maria’s Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. Bursting with fresh citrus, this vibrant and crisp Sauvignon Blanc is what New Zealand is famous for. After that we will open up everyone’s favorite wine pairing partner, taste the 2018 Private Bin Pinot Noir from Marlborough. With bright flavors of juicy cherry and tart cranberry, it’s a perfect match with Thanksgiving dinner and all the fixings! We’ll also be enjoying Villa Maria’s brand new 2016 Cellar Selection Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot-Cabernet blends like this one are particularly good when paired with robust, full-flavored dishes such as red meats (prime rib!) and cheeses–-another great match for holiday meals.

These stellar sippers exemplify the flavor and complexity and the commitment to quality Villa Maria is known for. You can learn more about these wines and Villa Maria New Zealand at villamariawines.com.

2019 Villa Maria "First Sip of Summer" TweetupJoin us for the 2019 Villa Maria First Sip of Fall Tweetup on November 13th at 5pm Pacific time.

Our exclusive Tweet-up tasting experience will be hosted by Villa Maria winemakers Kat Jankowiec and Dave Roper, along with yours truly! 🙂

Each wine is crafted in the unique, fruit-driven style of New Zealand, showcasing the very best of the country’s distinct wine regions. Villa Maria sources grapes from New Zealand’s premium grape growing regions, including Marlborough and Hawkes Bay, and produces wines in state-of-the-art winemaking facilities in Auckland, Hawkes Bay and Marlborough.

In 1961 and at only 21 years-old, Sir George Fistonich founded the winery and it’s still family owned to this day. Today, Villa Maria employs more than 250 permanent staff and exports wine to more than 60 countries worldwide. The company has two state-of-the-art winery facilities—one in Auckland (North Island) and one in Marlborough (South Island).

In 2019, Drinks International named Villa Maria the most admired wine brand in New Zealand for the fifth consecutive year. Villa Maria is New Zealand’s most awarded winery with more than 50 years since the first vintage of Villa Maria wine was bottled by founder and owner Sir George Fistonich.


Villa Maria has a long held objective to be environmentally responsible and to operate using sustainable practices. These values are inherent in the long term view that Villa Maria takes of the wine business. As a family owned New Zealand business, they believe they have a responsibility to ensure that resources are protected for the next generation.

“As a family company, the desire to leave something for the next generation is an ever-present and overriding business objective.”  – Sir George Fistonich


  • Villa Maria uses around 500 sheep to graze the vine rows over the winter at Joseph Soler Vineyard in Hawkes Bay. The sheep control grass growth and provide natural fertilizer. They return in summer for leaf plucking.
  • 30% of Villa Maria’s company owned vineyards are organically managed.
  • Villa Maria is importing cool night air into its warehouse, turning the wine into giant “chilly packs” to maintain optimum temperatures, even during the summer heat.
  • Villa Maria made a Reduction in greenhouse gases of 11% per bottle since 2010.

  • Approx. 70% of the packaging used for a bottle of Villa Maria Private Bin wine is made from recycled material.

More Accolades for the Award-Wining Villa Maria Winery

  • Named one of the World’s 50 Great Wine Producers (Wine Spectator)
  • Twice named as New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year (International Wine & Spirits Challenge UK)
  • George Fistonich named as one of the most prominent figures in the wine industry (Wine International Magazine UK)
  • George Fistonich awarded the title of Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merits, for his commitment to winemaking.
  • New World Winery of the Year (Wine Enthusiast Magazine)

2019 Villa Maria First Sip of Fall Tweet-up Details

Date & Time: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | 5:00 PM | Pacific 8:00 PM Eastern

Hashtags: #FirstSipNZ #OpenAnotherWorld #VillaMaria

Wine Locator: Find Villa Maria wines at a retailer near you at www.findusawine.com/vnz

Key Twitter Handles

Villa Maria’s official Twitter page: @VillaMaria_Wine

Dave Roper, Senior Auckland Winemaker at Villa Maria: @RopesatVilla 

Kat Jankowiec, Marlborough Winemaker at Villa Maria: @Kat_Halbtrocken

Janet Fouts, Tweet-up moderator & social media maven: @JFouts

Monique Soltani, Wine Oh TV Executive Producer & Host: @WineOhTV

The Wines

Villa Maria 2019 Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough ($14)

2019 Villa Maria "First Sip of Summer" Tweetup

This Sauvignon Blanc encompasses everything fresh and vibrant about Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc featuring fruit from the Awatere and Wairau Valleys. From the Awatere Valley comes aromatics and flavors such as lemongrass, jalapeño and fresh herbs as well as natural fresh acidity. In contrast, the Wairau Valley contributes ripe citrus and tropical fruit flavors. A perfect aperitif wine. Serve chilled with any fresh seafood dish or salad course.

Villa Maria 2018 Private Bin Pinot Noir, Marlborough 2018 ($18)

A savory Pinot Noir style with a lively personality, this wine expresses hints of red cherries on the nose, along with baking spices such as clove and cinnamon. On the palate, fruit flavors of cranberries and goji berries are intermingled with freshly roasted coffee beans and soft cocoa like-tannins. Serve lightly chilled.

Villa Maria 2017 Cellar Selection Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon, Hawkes Bay ($18)

This deeply colored wine displays perfumed aromas of dark berry fruits, violets and dried herbs with complex oak spice characters. A smooth and approachable palate follows with sweet fruit, supple tannins and moreish acidity. A blend of 57% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 9% Malbec.

You can learn more about Villa Maria and these wines at www.villamariawines.com

**This post is sponsored by Villa Maria

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PUBLISHED DATE: November 4th, 2019 | WINE CATEGORY: News & Events
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