The First Sip Of Summer With Villa Maria Wines #VillaMaria

The first day of summer, where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, saw record heat.  It you’re a wine lover like I am, regardless of the heat, wine is ALWAYS #1 on my list of preferred adult beverages to beat the heat! Fortunately for me, I was part of a selected group of wine blogger/writers who participated in the Villa Maria First Sip of Summer Tweet-up  on the first day of summer.

The exclusive summer Tweet-up tasting experience  was hosted by Nick Picone, Chief Winemaker for Villa Maria, Helen Morrison, Senior Marlborough Winemaker for Villa Maria, and Monique Soltani of Wine Oh TV .

The timing was perfect because the tasting featured three wines perfectly suited to beating the heat without breaking the bank:

2016 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Bubbly

2016 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Private Bin

2016 Villa Maria Private Bin Rosé

My tasting notes for each follow:


2016 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Bubbly – New Zealand, South Island
Pale straw color with passion fruit, lime zest, grapefruit and hints of melon and picked ginger aromas. On the palate it’s a light-bodied, zesty, crisp frizzante style wine with passion fruit, lime, grapefruit and a bit of green apple flavors with a medium-finish. This a fun, vibrant wine whose affinity for food is amplified by its effervescence. Perfect as an aperitif, pair with fish tacos, deep-fried seafood, pasta with light cream sauce (pasta with clams comes to mind) 12.5% abv. Wonderful value at SRP of $15 (88 pts.)


2016 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Private Bin – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
Very pale straw color with gooseberry, grapefruit, lime, fresh green herbs and sliced jalapeno aromas with a hint of lemongrass. On the palate it’s light-bodied with zesty acidity and gooseberry, mango, pineapple, tangerine, and lime flavors complemented by an appealing kiss of herbaceousness with a satisfying fresh clean finish. 13% abv. Great value at an SRP of $15 Serve chilled on warm days…perfect as an aperitif. Its ripe citrus flavors have an affinity for any fresh seafood dish or salad course. (89 pts.)


2016 Villa Maria Private Bin Rosé – New Zealand, North Island, East Coast
Strawberry red color with fresh red fruit, light spice, and citrus aromas with a hint of mineral. On the palate it’s light-bodied, and fresh with a wonderful texture. Nicely balanced with red summer fruits, strawberry, cherry and watermelon with a nice hint of sweet spice and an appealing minerality on a dry and very giving finish. Blend of mostly Merlot and Pinot Gris. 12.5% abv. It’s a rosé, pair with your favorite al fresco fare, especially those that are a bit more substantial like grilled chicken, grilled vegetables, grilled salmon or perhaps a nicoise or watermelon feta salad. Another excellent QPR wine at an SRP of $15. (88 pts.)

I recommend all three wines. They are harmonious, well structured wines that offer fantastic quality for the price!  Click here to locate.

And be sure to enter the Villa Maria  Open Another Worldcontest for a chance for you win and a guest receive round trip airfare from the U.S. to New Zealand, enjoying 7-days and 6-nights between the North and South Islands, as well as the opportunity to visit and experience New Zealand’s most awarded winery, Villa Maria Wine Estates!

About Villa Maria Wine

The Villa Maria story is one of absolute passion. 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 and Marlborough. The winery Sir George Fistonich started in 1961 is still family owned and stands as an icon of superior quality and innovation in New Zealand winemaking. They are New Zealand’s most awarded winery.  In 2017, Drinks International named Villa Maria the most admired wine brand in New Zealand and the fourth most admired in the world.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these wines free from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Villa Maria as part of their First Sip of Summer Twitter Tasting. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.


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  1. What fun wines! I love the Bubbly Sauvignon Blanc, especially with fried appetizers as you suggest.

    Villa Maria is an interesting company, too. Sir George Fistonich is the first person to be awarded a knighthood for contributions to the New Zealand wine industry.

    1. Martin D. Redmond says:

      They were definitely “seriously” fun wines Kristin! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate it!

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