The 30-year-old beat out Lyon’s England No 8 Carl Fearns and Clermont’s French centre Remi Lamerat for the gong.
Vito played 33 Tests for the All Blacks and 100 games for the Hurricanes.
The award winner was selected by his peers and given out at a gala evening in Paris.
La Rochelle missed out on a place in the final – beaten 15-18 by runners-up Toulon.
Vito scored four tries in his 20 out of 27 games played by his team in the Top 14.