Sustainable wine is such a hot topic these days, but it’s sort of old news for Fabian and the Villa Maria winery. Fabian Yukich has been driving sustainability at Villa Maria since 1998 and has been instrumental in embedding social, environmental and financial sustainability into the core of Villa Maria’s culture. Under his management, the company became the first major New Zealand wine producer to achieve CEMARS (Certified Emissions Management and Reduction Scheme) certification and BioGro Organic certification from the vineyard to the winery.
Numerous awards and bottles of wine later, Yukich was presented with yet another award – the Sustainability Champion Award at the New Zealand Sustainable Business Network Awards in recognition of his contributions in sustainability. Two years later, he received the 2012 Supreme Green Ribbon Award at Parliament in Wellington for Villa Maria’s outstanding and ongoing contributions to protecting New Zealand’s environment.
His involvement in the wine industry started at an early age working at his family’s West Auckland winery and a vintage at Villa Maria Estate in the late 1970s. By his early 20s, Yukich had vineyard, winery and wine retail experience, including successfully managing a number of winery building and extension projects.
In his mid 20s, following a vintage as winemaker at Krondorf Winery in Australia, he returned to New Zealand to manage the building of the Penfolds winery in Gisborne. His subsequent career involved work in winemaking and wine sales followed by a period operating a manufacturing, importing and service business.
Yukich rejoined Villa Maria in 1998 and managed the design and construction of the new Marlborough Winery. Since then, he has overseen the operations and engineering side of the Villa Maria business. In 2002, he led the project team responsible for the design, tendering and construction of the new Villa Maria Auckland winery, and in 2006 he was appointed to the Villa Maria board.
The juice itself is sourced from vineyards across the Marlborough region, intense Sauvignon Blanc is alive with a myriad of flavors dominated by gooseberry, passionfruit, fresh citrus, melon and herbaceous aromas. The wine has an enticing palate with a juicy flavor profile, purity and concentration, finishing crisp and clean with an interwoven thread of acidity.
Fruit for this wine was sourced from vineyards across the Marlborough region in the Wairau and Awatere valleys spanning a range of different meso-climates. Careful attention was paid to vine health and cropping levels to give the vine the best chance to optimize the season and develop strong, clean flavors.