Ahead of the 2023 EE BAFTA Film Awards on Sunday 19th February, I had the pleasure of attending the Vanity Fair EE Rising Star Party in London as a guest of the official wine partner of BAFTA, Villa Maria.
Villa Maria has been the Official Wine Partner of BAFTA since 2009 and their wines have been served and enjoyed at all BAFTA award ceremonies. Villa Maria is not only one of the UK's favourite New Zealand wine producers, but is also one of New Zealand’s most-awarded wineries, and has been so for more than 40 consecutive years.
Since its pioneering beginnings over half a century ago, Villa Maria has been at the forefront of quality, sustainability and innovation. This family-owned winery is now one of the most recognised and respected premium New Zealand wineries in the world and therefore is the perfect partner accompaniment to BAFTA.
Villa Marias' extensive portfolio is "one of the most geographically and stylistically diverse", and it has a total of three wineries. The stunning Auckland winery, which was opened in 2005, the Marlborough winery, set amid gorgeous scenery just outside Blenheim and the state-of-the-art Gimblett Gravels winery, nestled in the heart of Hawkes Bay’s prestigious growing region.
From its New Zealand roots to the newly restored Battersea Power Station in London, I joined Villa Maria for an excellent and glitzy evening of celebration amongst some of showbiz’s most prominent celebrity names. The purpose? To celebrate the EE Rising Star BAFTA Award. The venue? Joia Restaurant, Art'otel, Battersea, London.
The prestigious EE Rising Star Award is the only publicly voted award presented at the EE BAFTA Film Awards. Running since 2005, the award honours an emerging actor or actress who has demonstrated exceptional talent and begun to capture the imagination of the British public.
Villa Marias' winemaking philosophy is to create wines that are as delicious as they are accessible. Wines made for the moment that encapsulate the unique characters of their Kiwi vineyards and climate, that are as nature intended, clean, fresh, intensely varietal and elegant.
If you would like to explore the wines of Villa Maria for yourself then I have included a couple of links below to where you can purchase them within the UK.
To all of the EE rising star award nominees, best of luck:
Naomi Ackie recently produced a mesmerising portrayal of Whitney Houston in I Wanna Dance With Somebody and starred as "Jannah" in the final Star Wars instalment, The Rise of Skywalker.
Sheila Atim Sheila Atim wowed audiences with her role alongside Viola Davis and previous EE Rising Star winner, Lashana Lynch, in The Woman King.
Critics were full of praise for Emma Mackey's portrayal of Emily Brontë in Emily, and she also recently starred in Kenneth Branagh's box office hit, Death on the Nile.
Peaky Blinders star, Daryl McCormack, was widely praised for his witty and compassionate portrayal of a sex worker alongside Emma Thompson in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.
Aimee Lou Wood
Aimee Lou Wood rose to fame and won a BAFTA Television award for her screen debut in Sex Education and recently appeared in the critically-acclaimed film, Living.