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Talking to Sir John Fistonic on October 9th 2012 in Hamburg was a real pleasure.
The German version of the interview was published in "Weinwirtschaft" vol 26, 2012.

Sir John's impressions are shared on the Villa Maria blog!




Sir Fistonich shared his view about the trip to Gemany and the interview in his blog. About regional style vs globalization of wine tastes: „We make wine to suit the consumer, at different price points and for different occasions. Generally Villa Maria today works more towards single vineyard varieties, especially with Sauvignon Blanc we there is a lot of innovation. I want to show the diversity of our Sauvignon Blanc and show what we can do.“


About the regional varieties of VM wines and different labels: „Yes, the cellar selection that was designed as a food wine for restaurants is made from nine to ten different parcels whereas the private bin can consist of up to 50 parcels.“


The interviewer thinks that the single vineyard wines (cellar selection) is not what we find in the supermarket....


Fistonich says: „In the UK you do, tesco has a lot of reserve and single vinyard varietes from VM and we create a diversity there!“


About the German market and the European mainland: „Our strategy here is marketing, employing lots of people in the marketing section and get the private bin selection going and to convince the Germans to pay two or three times more for a bottle of wine from NZ (laughs). And to organize more tastings.“


About richt Americans buying NZ vineyards: „Too much overseas ownershipbears the danger of commodilization.“ (note: guess we know, what he's talking about, newly created term though!)


About Bulgaria: „It‘s a market, we are doing a couple of thousand cases there! And we have a pretty determined marketing guy out there.“


About exports and export markets: „NZ is the leading wine producer for Sauvignon Blanc, even against France and South Africa. Marlborogh is bigger than Burgundy and Blenheim is the capital of Sauvignon Blanc. Australians drink more Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand than Sauvignon Blanc from Australia.“