Martinborough Vineyard is one of the original pioneers in Martinborough located in the south east of New Zealand’s North Island. The first vineyards were established here as early as 1980.
The winegrowing area of Martinborough is known for its free-draining soils and favourable climate, particularly its long dry summers and warm autumns. The pinot noir grape excels here in very favourable conditions and chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling and sauvignon blanc are also planted with success.
Under the early direction of respected Aussie winemaker Larry McKenna, whose adopted country saw him become a leading pioneer for New Zealand’s pinot noir industry, Martinborough Vineyard gradually built up its formidable name. Success here with pinot noir undoubtedly helped bring attention to the rest of the region’s up-and-coming wineries. When McKenna left in 1999 to set up on his own the chief winemaking mantle was then taken over by Claire Mulholland and more recently by Paul Mason.
Respect for the environment is paramount here and with the philosophy of ‘handcrafted excellence’ very much to the fore. The desire here is to remain small, consistent and quality-driven. The 60 hectares of well-established vineyards are run on sustainable lines under the watchful eye of head viticulturalist Peter Wilkins, helping to ensure naturally healthy, ripe fruit year on year. The Te Tera Pinot Noir which The Society has been following for several years is hand-harvested from some of New Zealand’s oldest pinot noir vines. With sumptuous red fruit notes and silky smooth tannins it is a wonderful example of premium Martinborough pinot noir.