New Zealand's Villa Maria has been named on a list of the world's most admired wine brands.

It is the fourth year in a row the Auckland winery has been included in the rankings, which are run by magazine Drinks International. They involve 100 wine experts and consider more than 100,000 brands.

Sir George Fistonich, who founded Villa Maria in the 1960s, said the recognition once again "is testament to the level of quality our wines consistently deliver and shows we exceed in all the award criteria".

"It's such an amazing recognition for Villa Maria and I'm incredibly proud that we continue to rate the highest New Zealand winery on this most prestigious of lists," Fistonich said.


"I'm a very proud New Zealander - at Villa Maria we export to 60 countries in the world and we're still 100 per cent New Zealand owned and proudly family owned," he said.

The standard of wine coming out of New Zealand was very high - across different varieties.

"We're globally known for making the best Sauvignon Blanc, but a lot of people believe that right across the board - whether it's Otago, Canterbury, Martinborough, Marlborough - that we make the best Pinot Noir in the world now.

"Our Chardonnay is outstanding across all the regions. So in a sense, we are a very significant country renowned for our quality, so being No 1 on top of that group is quite exciting for Villa Maria," he told the Herald.