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About the book
  • Published: 5 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869799786
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

The Winemaker

George Fistonich and the Villa Maria Story

Formats & editions

Biography of New Zealand's most awarded wine-industry leader

Biography of New Zealand's most awarded wine-industry leader.

Over the last 15 years, the New Zealand industry has increasingly globalised, as international corporates take a dominant role in our wine production. Villa Maria has always fiercely guarded its independence as New Zealand's largest privately-owned wine company, an independence that can be tracked back to the day in 1961 when a young George Fistonich told his Croatian-immigrant father that he wanted to give up building and take over the family winery.

In the 50 years since, he has turned a cottage business making fairly average table and fortified wines into a widely admired company that produces some of this country's very best wines (for which it has won a multitude of local and international awards), has considerable landholdings, is a major exporter, an energetic sponsor, and has an innovative culture.

George Fistonich has won the coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, was knighted, and, in 2011, was honoured with one of the international wine industry's leading awards. This book traces the arc of his life, from his hard-working Mangere childhood to his self-taught marketing audacity, from having to save his beloved business from receivership to taking big bets on the future.

What emerges is the portrait of a determined, savvy and visionary man, whose life in wine tracks the history of the modern New Zealand wine industry.

The book features a tribute by celebrated UK wine writer Oz Clarke.

  • Pub date: 5 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869799786
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

About the Author

Kerry Tyack

Kerry Tyack was born in Te Awamutu, and was educated at Sacred Heart College in Auckland and at the University of Waikato, where he completed a BA in Politics and Sociology and an MA in Politics.
Kerry has worked as an independent writer, critic and educator in the New Zealand food and drinks industry for a number of years. He has edited a number of hospitality-trade publications, and has been a judge of the New Zealand Cheese Awards, the Cervena Plates, BrewNZ, the Corbans Wine and Food Challenge, the Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge, the National Restaurant Association Restaurant of the Year, and the New Zealand Sausage Competition, as well as being for many years an assessor for the Beef and Lamb Marketing Bureau.
For nine years he contributed a drinks column to Metro magazine, and for the past three years he has been head judge of the Cuisine New Zealand Restaurant of the Year competition.
His previous books are Kerry Tyack’sGuide to Breweries and Beer in New Zealand, Weekends for Food Lovers in New Zealand, The Beer Book, New Zealand Beers: A Tasting Guide, and Go Wild: Monteith’s Wild Food Cookbook.

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