Villa Maria was founded in 1961 in Auckland and is New Zealand's most awarded winery. The Auckland winery was opened in 2005 and hosts Villa Maria's head office, bottling facility, conference and events centre and cellar door. Internationally acclaimed wine is produced from grapes grown in New Zealand's main grape growing regions, with owned vineyards in Marlborough, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne and Auckland. Grapes are also sourced from contract growers. Villa Maria distributes wine throughout New Zealand as well as Europe, North America, Australia, Asia and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands. Villa Maria has a long held objective to be environmentally responsible and to operate using sustainable practices. Villa Maria has been a member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) since its inception in 1995. Each year, Villa Maria is audited by SWNZ to provide a key platform for continuous improvement. All Villa Maria company vineyards and winery sites are either accredited by SWNZ or in the case of new sites, in the process of gaining accreditation. In addition to SWNZ, all Villa Maria's wineries are compliant with the environmental management system — ISO14001. Villa Maria is committed to continuing along the path of sustainability.