Sir George Fistonich, 83, founder of Villa Maria in the early 1960s, has been developing three new brands made from Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough grapes on family-owned vineyards in both areas: Oblix, Obliix and New Zealand Forest Flower.
At present production of the new wines is boutique, with the vines producing around 3500 bottles in the last year. But, Fistonich says, potential output could be big.
For George, wine is a passion. “If you want to be successful in life, do what you love doing.” For him, wine is the essence of life.
There are two Fistonich Family Vineyards: one on the famous Hawke’s Bay Gimblett Gravels, covering about 23 hectares, and the other in Ballochdale in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley.
Many former staff have returned, including award-winning winemaker Michelle Richardson and viticulturist Stu Dudley.
The business produces about 300 cases from both vineyards including rosé, a cabernet blend, cabernet, viognier and chardonnay. Next year he will make sauvignon blanc.
The new Oblix, Obliix labels with their 3-D, optical illusion-style wave pattern, are eye-catching standout labels on the shelves.
OBLIX ROSE 2022
93 POINTS | Sam Kim, Wine Orbit - "Restrained and gorgeously fine"
Fresh on the block, the Oblix Rosé 2022 is amongst a selection of the first wines released under the Fistonich Family Vineyards. Not quite ready to retire, winemaker known as 'the father of New Zealand wine', Sir George Fistonich, established the Fistonich Family Vineyards in 2021 to continue his passion for winemaking and viticulture.
It's no surprise that this 2022 rosé reflects Fistonich's long-time winemaking success. Made from 100% hand-picked and whole bunch pressed fruit and kept entirely on primary lees, this rosé offers subtle spice and floral aromas on the nose, a wonderfully weighted textural palate and a gorgeous hue to top it off. This one's a treasure. Trust us on that.
I'LL DRINK TO THAT!