Villa Maria: Single vineyards of Marlborough and Hawkes Bay

Join Dave Roper, Villa Maria's Senior Auckland Winemaker and Cameron Douglas MS as they showcase six wines from two iconic New Zealand wine regions, Marlborough and Hawkes Bay.

With exciting current releases to compare alongside mature vintages, this masterclass will be a fascinating discussion and comparison about the ageability of New Zealand wine.

The tasting will begin with an undeniable nod to Marlborough’s flagship Sauvignon Blanc, the 2020 Taylors Pass Single Vineyard.

Then, the celebration of the upcoming release of revered 2020 Hawkes Bay Keltern Chardonnay, tasted alongside the shining 2014 vintage.

Marlborough’s Awatere Valley will then again come to life with a tasting of the Taylors Pass Single Vineyard Pinot Noir from 2019 and 2014.

The masterclass will finish with Ngakirikiri 2018, Villa Maria's top red direct from the Gimblett Gravels appellation in Hawkes Bay. ‘Ngakirikiri’ in Māori, refers to the unique gravel soils that define the region and is a befitting name for this stony Hawkes Bay vineyard sited on what was an ancient riverbed. Villa Maria Founder Sir George Fistonich declared it as "our icon, a wine with poise and presence; it represents the pinnacle of our winemaking achievements".

Decanter's Tina Gellie rated this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated Bordeaux blend 95 points and described it as "fresh, textured and complete."

This Decanter at Home masterclass offers a unique opportunity to explore these two legendary New Zealand regions and taste six outstanding wines, including two vintages of leading Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines side by side.

£65.oo masterclass wine samples (UK only) / £45.00 viewing only (includes access to all event content)

The wines

Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2020

Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2014

Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir 2019

Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir 2014

Ngakirikiri 2018


This 60 minute tasting will begin with an introduction explaining the history and philosophy of this producer followed by a tasting of their six selected wines.

This masterclass has been pre-recorded in order to complement your schedule, and is available to watch, or re-watch at any time from 11 December 2021 until 10 January 2022.

Inside the tasting pack

  • 6 x 75ml samples of each wine listed
  • An A3 tasting mat
  • An A5 tasting booklet
  • A Decanter pen

Quality assurance

To ensure that you receive samples in the best condition possible all wines will be tasted by a Decanter wine tasting expert for quality assurance before being re-bottled as samples. Bottling of the samples will take place in an anaerobic tank to eliminate oxygen contamination and sealed with a secure screwcap. Samples will be re-bottled and sent to you ahead of the masterclass.


Due to restrictions on duty and costs along with supply issues, we are not always able to offer samples for purchase to our customers outside of the UK.

Please note that the wine samples for this event are currently only available to UK residents (including Channel Islands, excluding Northern Ireland)

Masterclass Hosts

Dave Roper

Dave began his career at Villa Maria as a cellar hand in 2002. His flair for winemaking was apparent from the outset, and in 2005 he was promoted to assistant winemaker, eventually being promoted to senior Auckland winemaker in 2015.

He grew up in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, the son of two science teacher parents. He holds a degree in microbiology from the Auckland University of Technology and a certificate in winemaking from the Eastern Institute of Technology in Hawkes Bay.

Dave believes winemaking “requires a strong appreciation of art plus an understanding of science.”

Cameron Douglas MS

Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas is a wine writer, commentator, judge, reviewer, presenter and consultant, and a judge for the Decanter World Wine Awards.

Cameron spends much of his time as an educator (he is in charge of the Wine and Beverage Programme at Auckland University of Technology), and in consulting for the wine, hotel, restaurant and tourism sectors. He is on the Fine Wines of New Zealand Masters team in association with Air New Zealand.

He served on the board of directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas and is an instructor and examiner for the MS programme in the USA and Oceania.

Can't get samples, but still want to watch?

For every masterclass we hold we always provide the option to watch along at home, without the need to buy samples.

We don't want you to miss out, and if you buy a 'Watch Only' ticket you'll be able to view this masterclass as well as all the other masterclasses and video content within this Decanter at Home event.

Are you a Decanter Premium member?

If you'd like to become a Decanter Premium member, you can purchase a yearly subscription from our Buy Tickets page at the discounted price of £60 (normally £75).

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  • Once payment has been processed and your booking confirmed you will receive an email notification to confirm delivery of your wine samples and tasting pack.
  • Wine samples will be delivered by DPD. You will receive an email to confirm your delivery window at which point you are able to accept this time or change the time if absolutely necessary.
  • Decanter does not take any responsibility for the wine samples once they have been delivered.
  • Wine samples will not be replaced unless they have gone missing in transit.
  • Wine samples are currently only available to residents in England and Wales (overnight delivery), Scotland and the Channel Islands' (two-day delivery). If you reside outside of these locations and purchase wine samples, your order will be cancelled and refunded to the payment card used for the transaction.
  • Strictly over 18s permitted to purchase the wine samples.
  • We have a no cancellation policy on our virtual events, however attendees may nominate an alternative person to attend up to 24 hours prior to the start of the event. This is for viewing access only and no samples will be transferred or sent. The change is at no charge, and all substitutions must be received in writing to
  • This information is correct at time of publication, but the organisers reserve the right to change any part of the event without notice.