Thornbury – Current Releases From Around the Country

Simon Fell is the winemaker responsible for the Thornbury range of wines under the Villa Maria Estates umbrella. It could be understood if there’s a bit of envy on the part of his colleagues, as Simon has the opportunity of making the most diverse range of styles and working with a broader range of grape varieties from regions that span Gisborne in the north to Central Otago to the south, more so than workmates. Of course, to make these wines, Simon must travel to the different regions to see the grapes and the vineyards! As one of the Villa Maria team of winemakers, he is called in for his input across the gamut of wine styles made by the company. It seems he has it all!

Thornbury was established by well-known winemaker Steve Bird. The company was purchased by Villa Maria in 2006 to expand its holdings in Marlborough where the Thornbury vineyards were situated. Since then, the brand has been expanded many fold to include wines from fruit throughout the country and the quantities made increased substantially. The Thornbury label is truly representative of New Zealand. Here, I review the current range, from which a number of the wines have won major awards.


  • Thornbury Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013
  • Thornbury Waipara Pinot Gris 2013
  • Thornbury Gisborne Chardonnay 2013
  • Thornbury Waipara Riesling 2012
  • Thornbury Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
  • Thornbury Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2012

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