Region - Martinborough / Wairarapa

Read More on the Region

Martinborough / Wairarapa

Click below for info

Region Wineries

The Wairarapa occupies the southeast corner of the North Island, sharing roughly the same latitude as Marlborough.

Pinot Noir found a home here early. In the 1890s, retired gentleman farmer William Beetham and his French wife Hermance planted Pinot in their Landsdowne vineyard near Masterton. Beetham was effusive in his praise for the grape in a 1901 press interview: “(Mr Beetham) has tried other varieties, but the Pineau Noir, his first favourite, still surpasses all others.”

The region rose quickly to prominence in the modern era. The early expressions from wineries such as Martinborough Vineyard and Ata Rangi began collecting gold medals through the 1980s, establishing the region as a Pinot stronghold. These were among the first New Zealand Pinots to draw overseas attention.

Today, there are 72 wineries (almost all boutique in size) spread across the region, which is centred on a large flood plain that spreads out below the sheltering Tararua Range. The Ruamahanga River flows north to south, linking the sub-regions of Masterton. Gladstone and Martinborough.

Most of the region’s vines grow on old alluvial river terraces. It’s a hot spot in summer and very dry – the town of Martinborough is the driest place in the whole North Island. Exposure to the south and its chilling winds acts as a natural brake on yields.

The Wairarapa has 969ha under vine, making it one of the smaller New Zealand wine regions. Pinot Noir accounts for over half these plantings. It is the region’s most successful grape and the reason for its global reputation.


Ata Rangi Vineyard

Ata Rangi is a small New Zealand winery with an enviable international reputation for Pinot Noir. It is owned and managed by a family trio – Clive Paton, wife Phyll and Clive’s sister Ali. Clive planted the first vines on a small, stony sheep paddock at the edge of the Martinborough village in 1980 as one of a handful of people who pioneered winegrowing in the area.

We started Big Sky Wines in 2005. We had returned to New Zealand from living in France, and we knew the time was right to pursue our long-held ambition – to make world class, hand crafted wines, that give true expression to the character of their place. We were drawn to the Te Muna valley. It’s a very special place, ideal for growing Pinot Noir — we think one of the best in the world. We look forward to showing you our wines soon…

Coney Wines is all about quality… and family. Everything from the vineyard to the winery to the restaurant is done by hand, and done by a Coney hand at that. Tim, Margaret and daughter Lisa
work together to ensure that only the highest quality product makes it to your mouth!
And so the old-fashioned notion that small is beautiful, that honest sweat produces happiness turns out to be our guiding principle.

Craggy Range is a family owned winery established in 1997 situated in the shadow of the spectacular Te Mata Peak in the premium wine growing area of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Based on the single vineyard philosophy of winemaking, Craggy Range produces a portfolio of quality wines including the iconic Prestige and Family collections, as well as Limited Editions all reflecting the place and the people.

Daniel Patrick Brennan wandered through Europe and America with a band of musicians before discovering Martinborough Pinot Noir while docked at his family’s restaurant in Philadelphia. He set sail again to New Zealand where he studied a new craft, with new instruments. Decibel wines are now sent on ships around the world and the journey never ends.

Dry River vineyard was established in 1979 by Dr Neil and Dawn McCallum.
With vines planted on the northern boundary of the Martinborough township, Dry River aptly describes the very arid, gravely and free-draining site. They produce wines of optimal phenolic ripeness that truly reflect the site and vineyard. With Wilco Lam as Chief winemaker since 2013, Dry River continues to build on its reputation as one of New Zealand’s most iconic pioneering wineries.

Escarpment Vineyard

Escarpment’s aim is simple: to continually produce the very best of tomorrow’s definitive New World wines. “Complexity” “texture” and “structure” are key words. Under Larry McKenna’s leadership the team aims to reward wine lovers with progressive and suggestive wines that encourage them to venture to the edge of wine appreciation. Escarpment offer three ranges of Pinot Noir. The Single Vineyard Insight Series, Escarpment district blend and The Edge Pinot Noir.
The first and foremost vineyard at Gladstone, in the heart of the Wairarapa. Gladstone Vineyard is a family business with an international reputation for distinctive, high quality wines of finesse and complexity. Committed to growing it vines and producing wine in a thoughtful and environmentally responsible manner, Gladstone Vineyard’s focus is simply to craft beautiful wine that expresses the exceptional characteristics of the soil, the climate and the region.
Our 25 hectare block was purchased In Gladstone just north of Martinborough in 2001. Mainly planted with Pinot Noir & the balance in classic varietals. We believe that the final wine quality is influenced by the site & soil management. We produce handcrafted distinctive styles with the emphasis on traditional Burgundian wine making techniques.

Julicher Estate

Julicher Estate is a 15 hectare vineyard on Te Muna Road Martinborough, producing around 5 thousand cases of wine per year. Winning three Champion Wine of the Show Trophies since 2007 and numerous other awards for Pinot Noir, Wim Julicher says success is due to location on Te Muna Road, ideal terroir, and a talented winemaker. With a Dutch work ethic for perfection, Wim prides himself on being meticulous in everything he does on the vineyard.
Established in 1980 with the objective of producing world class wines, Martinborough Vineyard is one of the pioneers of Pinot Noir in both Martinborough and New Zealand.
With some of the country’s oldest vines, we are proud to create Pinot Noirs that speak of our special place and show great depth, complexity, and elegance. Our philosophy is “Handcrafted Excellence in Wine”, and over the years we are proud to have stayed small, consistent and quality driven.

Murdoch James Estate

For us, it started when founder Roger Fraser worked on a friend’s vineyard in his College holidays. From there, Murdoch James Estate was born in 1986. Starting with just himself, wife Jill and 3 hectares of land, today there are 4 family members involved, plus 4 extended family, and the land under vines is 50 hectares. Our family values of integrity, hard work, teamwork and love for our land are intertwined in all we do.

Palliser Estate Wines

Palliser Estate in Martinborough is a boutique vineyard with an international outlook. For over two decades our people have been looking after our corner of New Zealand, producing quality wine for the world to enjoy. Palliser Estate is a leading winery in the ultra premium grape-growing region of Martinborough. The Palliser Estate and Pencarrow labels are consistently great wines – a fact to be celebrated. We manage the whole winemaking process here on the estate, to produce wine that continues to taste great.

The essence of Poppies Martinborough is simply making wines that show the character and evoke the varietal flavour and purity of expression from the land and the hands of the maker, a simple philosophy of creating wines in what we believe to be their truest form. There are no consumer fads or current trends followed just the honest believe that the individual wines are made to reflect us, express the variety and what Mother Nature has created; I guess their Terroir.

A world search, which also included France, Germany, North and South America as well as Australia for the ideal area with perfect conditions for viticulture, especially for Pinot Noir, brought Kai Schubert and Marion Deimling, graduates of the German Viticulture and Oenology University in Geisenheim to the Wairarapa, New Zealand. Schubert vineyards are closely planted and the unique climate produces low yields and internationally award winning wines with intense and complex character; predominantly exported to currently 36 countries.

Te Kairanga Wines

Te Kairanga Wines was established in 1984 and is dedicated to producing Estate grown Martinborough wines. With two thirds of our vineyards planted in Pinot Noir we aim to produce wines with a true sense of Martinborough that provides a fine balance between depth and elegance. Recently Te Kairanga has been revitalised with new ownership, new winemaking and new presentation. Owner Bill Foley has a clear vision for the future – to be producing benchmark Pinot Noir.

The Elder Pinot

The Elder Pinot is grown on old river terraces over looking Martinborough’s Te Muna valley. We began planting in 1999, waiting for the vineyard to mature before releasing our first vintage in 2010. The elevation, stony soils and vine selection, combined with exacting canopy management and sustainable practices allow us to produce very small crops of intense flavour. The result is complex, elegant wines that consistently emphasize the refined characteristics of great pinots.
Urlar is a family owned boutique winery nestled in the Gladstone sub region of the Wairarapa. Wine for us is about passion and fun and we hope that this comes through in our wines. The vines are tenderly loved and grown organically. We are one of only a few producing certified organic wine. Wine that is good for you and our beautiful land.