New Zealand winery Villa Maria is launching its first organic wine range, 21 years after it started growing grapes organically.

EarthGarden has been launched to meet the rising global demand for sustainable produce. It also forms part of the Villa Maria’s commitment to converting 100% of its company vineyards to be organically managed by 2030.    

EarthGarden is the culmination of a two-decade long journey of discovery in some of New Zealand’s best wine regions. New Zealanders will be the first to get their hands on the EarthGarden range both online and in-store nationwide from March 1, 2021. The wines will launch in the UK from late April.

The range, which is 100% BioGro certified, includes Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2020, Marlborough Pinot Noir 2019 and Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2019.  

Matt Deller MW, Villa Maria’s Chief Global Sales & Marketing Officer, said: “The global organic wine market was forecasted last year by IWSR to grow 43% by 2024, and New Zealand’s $2billion wine industry is well positioned to capitalise on this trend.”

Fiona Mottershaw, Brand Controller at Hatch Mansfield said: “We are thrilled to be launching this significant new organic range from Villa Maria in 2021. With the environment an ever more pressing consideration in all of our minds, the time couldn’t be more perfect to start showcasing the work that Villa Maria has been doing, for many years now, to put sustainability at the heart of the business.”

Delighted with the launch of EarthGarden, Villa Maria Viticulturalist Hannah Ternent said: “Organic farming accentuates flavour in other natural produce such as fruits and vegetables, and it’s the same for wine too.  Wines made from organically grown grapes have more intense and evocative flavours. When you taste the EarthGarden wines, you taste the care put into the soil, the conscious tending of the vines, the careful handling of the fruit produced and the respect for our relationship with the land.

“Each year we plant wildflower seeds in the vineyards, which create beautiful, vibrant rows full of flowers, bees and insects that encourage a flourishing ecosystem.  And we are highly motivated to further enhance the health of our soils and environment so we can continue to reap the rewards of beautiful fruit for years to come. EarthGarden perfectly encapsulates these principles and what we are striving to achieve.”

In addition to organic practices, Villa Maria said it instils sustainability in every area of its business, including its supply chain. All the packaging for every single bottle of Villa Maria wine is sourced within 22km of the Auckland Estate to reduce carbon emissions. All Villa Maria wines are in New Zealand-made bottles with an average of 69% recycled glass.