Villa Maria has achieved a unique quadrella and put Hawke's Bay very clearly on the top of the charts for creating outstanding chardonnays.
For it was Villa Maria's Reserve Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2018 which took the top spot in that category as well as triumphing as the Wine of The Year at the recent Australasian Winestate Awards.
However, it is a case of wait, there's more.
The Villa Maria group's chief winemaker Nick Picone also received the prestigious New Zealand Winemaker of the Year — for the third time in his stellar career in the world of the grape.
Then there came the announcement of New Zealand Wine Company of the Year ... and it went to Villa Maria.
The family-owned winery has now won that title an astonishing 17 times in the 22 years the competition has been running.
"Winestate evaluates around 10,000 wines from Australia and New Zealand and therefore a Winestate medal is truly deserved as only five per cent of wines submitted reach the finalist stage," editor of Winestate Peter Simic said.
The latest awards effectively reflect the culmination of outstanding 5-star reviews Villa Maria wines have received from Winestate throughout the year, to the delight of Nick Picone.
"We are thrilled to win Australasian Wine of the Year again this year," he said.
"To go back to back and consecutively win this title is truly remarkable and full credit goes to our entire team."
He said for a Hawkes Bay chardonnay to win the exclusive top award clearly endorsed the quality of the chardonnays Villa Maria were so passionate about, and indicated they were "on point" with viticulture and winemaking.
"This award follows on from our winning 2015 Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot and re-casts the spotlight on Hawkes Bay and the incredible wines coming from this unique region," Picone said, adding that the top examples of chardonnay and cabernet blends not only stood alongside the finest wines produced in New Zealand, but were also standing up on the international stage," said Picone.
"And that can only be extremely positive for the profile of the region."
He said it was a huge honour to win New Zealand Winemaker of the Year.
"I must share this award with my colleagues across the business, as we have a dedicated and passionate team who are driven to produce quality wines and that certainly makes my job easier," he said.
The Villa Maria Reserve Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2017 was also ranked in the Top Three Chardonnays at the Winestate awards, which reinforced the exceptional quality chardonnay produced in the Bay.