Villa Maria First Sip of Summer 2017


Nothing says summer like a cool and refreshing NZ SB. For me, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was the original porch pounder! I’ll have you know, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was the first wine I was able to correctly guess on a blind taste test. Needless to say, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc will always hold a special place in my heart and in my hand. So, you can imagine my excitement when I was invited to help host Villa Maria’s First Sip of Summer Tweet up!!!


Of course, now that I am the Wine Oh-in-chief I know that New Zealand makes a variety of wines that come in an array of colors from white to red to sparkling to pink! Three of which we will be trying in just a few weeks! I hope you will join me as we taste through these fun and fabulous wines! Our exclusive summer Tweet-up tasting experience will be hosted by Nick Picone, Chief Winemaker for Villa Maria, Helen Morrison, Senior Marlborough Winemaker for Villa Maria, and Moi! 😀

All photos courtesy of Villa Maria

We will guide you through an exciting line up of wines including: the 2016 Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc. We will be the first to taste the 2016 Villa Maria Private Bin Bubbly Sauvignon Blanc. Plus, we are saying #Rosèallday the New Zealand way!  Tasting the U.S. debut of Villa Maria’s brand new 2016 Private Bin Rosé. These stunning wines exemplify the flavor and complexity and the commitment to quality Villa Maria is known for.

One of the things I love about Villa Maria is that they make high quality wines that taste great and don’t break the bank. Villa Maria is the most awarded winery in New Zealand. In 2017, Drinks International named Villa Maria the most admired wine brand in New Zealand and the fourth most admired in the world. Villa Maria is passionate about crafting wine that showcases the best of the diverse wine region. Sourcing grapes from New Zealand’s premium grapegrowing regions including: Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. Founded by Sir George Fistonich over a half century ago, Villa Maria is still family owned and makes it their mission to make high quality wines by balancing tradition and innovation.

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)

The Tweet-up Deets

Date & Time: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 | 5:00 PM Pacific / 8:00 PM Eastern

Hashtags: #FirstSipNZ #OpenAnotherWorld #VillaMaria

Wine Locator: Find Villa Maria wines at a retailer near you at

The VIP Tweeters

Villa Maria’s official Twitter page: @VillaMaria_Wine

Nick Picone, Chief Winemaker at Villa Maria: @PiconeNick

Helen Morrison, Senior Marlborough Winemaker at Villa Maria: @Helen_Wine

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

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

The Wines

Villa Maria 2016 Bubbly Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand ($15)

Bursting with grapefruit and fresh lime aromas, vibrant and crisp with a lingering sparkle in the mouth. The delicate bubbles of this frizzante-style wine enhance the zingy fruit flavors of Sauvignon Blanc. A superb apéritif and perfect with seafood.

Villa Maria 2016 Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough ($15)

This wine encompasses everything fresh and vibrant about Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc! From the cool Awatere Valley come aromatics and flavors such as lemongrass, jalapeno and fresh herbs as well as natural fresh acidity. In contrast, the Wairau Valley has warmer summer months, producing ripe citrus and tropical fruit notes. Serve chilled with fresh seafood or summer salads. (90 points & Best Buy, Wine Enthusiast, July 2017)

Villa Maria 2016 Private Bin Rosé, Hawkes Bay ($15)

A slightly off-dry Rosé with bright floral aromas and flavors of strawberry, red fruits and spice. Best served chilled and enjoyed on warm summer days and with seafood and other fresh alfresco fare.

The June 21st “First Sip of Summer” Twitter tasting is kicking off a series of fun and fabulous events! “Open Another World” events will be held throughout the U.S. this summer celebrating Villa Maria. You can even get a chance to enter into a sweepstakes to win a trip to visit Villa Maria in New Zealand!!!! Entries are available online June 1-September 30, 2017 at

“The Open Another WorldTM campaign invites people to step into our world and experience the unique story behind our founding and the tenacious and unrelenting pursuit of quality that has and continues to drive Villa Maria to its position today as New Zealand’s most awarded winery.

Villa Maria has incredible stories that drive so much of what we do today. Achieving great things despite adversity is part of our DNA and contributes to our uncompromising winemaking philosophy. When others tell us something is impossible, we hear ‘work harder.’” – Richard Thomas, Chief Operations Officer for Villa Maria 

Open Another WorldTM theatrical tour stops will include: Jun. 7 in Los Angeles, CA; Jul. 12 in Dallas, TX; Jul. 19 in Chicago, IL; Jul. 26 in Atlanta, GA; and Aug. 4 in Miami, FL. The events will be produced by GenArt, whose mission is nurture and inspire future generations of creators and doers.To learn more about Villa Maria and the Open Another WorldTM campaign and upcoming summer events, visit

This post is sponsored by Villa Maria

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PUBLISHED DATE: June 1st, 2017 | WINE CATEGORY: News & Events
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