[26 October/New Zealand Herald]

Viticulturist Jonathan Hamlet was in charge of the grapes that went into Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards Champion of Show wine – Te Awa’s Single Estate Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. Mr Hamlet was overjoyed with the result, which reflected the hard work he and his team had put in. Mr Hamlet knew which grapes would be going into the wine before the season started. The entire process was based on quality. He said the grapes were very much picked based on flavour, with attention to the fruit concentration and balance of tannins. Villa Maria has been growing organic grapes for more than 16 years and converting some of Te Awa into organic management is part of the company’s plans to progress in sustainability.