Villa Maria’s new chief winemaker
Hawke’s Bay winemaker Nick Picone has been appointed chief winemaker for the Villa Maria Group, with chief executive Sir George Fistonich describing the 37-year-old as a “shining star” of the New Zealand wine industry. Picone said he was proud to take on the role and agreed it was a long way from when he started pursuing a grape and wine certificate at the EIT back in 1996 – where after one month he knew he wanted to be a winemaker rather than a viticulturist.
“It’s a bit daunting but it is really exciting,” he said. “I’ve been with Villa Maria for 18 years and with the experience I had in the regions I’ve worked in, and knowing the great teams of people we have, I realised I was in a position to accept the responsibility.”