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2 minutes with our winemaker Simon Fell

Simon Fell joined the Villa Maria winemaking team in 2006 and has 17 years of winemaking experience working in wine throughout the world.

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Simon Fell – Villa Maria Winemaker 

Simon Fell joined the Villa Maria winemaking team in 2006 and has 17 years of winemaking experience working in wine throughout the world.

Simon’s winemaking career has seen him work for wineries in Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Chile, Australia, and more recently in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand where he was winemaker for Vidal Estate Wines.

In his current role at Villa Maria’s Auckland winery, Simon enjoys the challenges and vast possibilities of producing a range of varietal wines from New Zealand’s key winegrowing regions.

“The opportunity to produce premium wines from each of New Zealand’s key wine growing regions is very rewarding,” he says “It is great to work closely with the viticulture teams in each region to ensure our wines express their unique sense of place.”

Simon is a keen outdoorsman who enjoys diving, surfing and swimming. Together with his wife Jacqui they are avid foodies who enjoy preparing gourmet food and wine dinners for their friends and family.

Two minutes with Simon - Q&A

Number of years in the industry
22 years of living the dream.

What would you do if you wouldn’t be a winemaker?
Probably a wannabe celebrity chef. As I am really interested in the challenge of creating flavours and making something that people get enjoyment from.

Why did you decide to work in the wine industry?
After my O.E in Europe I returned to New Zealand with great memories of drinking wine (cheap wine mind you). That seeded the thought of a career in winemaking. It was a very good time to get involved as the New Zealand industry was just starting to really take off in the export market.

Which wine are you saving for a special occasion?
Every day of life is an occasion so the wine I drink with friends and family are to be savoured and enjoyed.

New Zealand wine is special because …
Our unique location in the world creates wines of freshness, purity and a sense of place.

Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
I once experienced while living in Napa, matching a very expensive bottle of Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon with Taco Bell. Something I am sure they would not want to put on their tasting note.
It was a paring not to be missed.

Advice on buying wine
Buy what you like and in particular Villa Maria!