Tucked away down a vine-lined driveway is one of New Zealand’s most-visited wineries; each year pinot fans file in pilgrimage fashion to Ata Rangi’s cellar door. It’s nothing glamorous, just a rustic timber shed housing some of New Zealand’s most sought-after wines. Park under the trees and prepare to be educated about the unique qualities of the Martinborough terroir.
Things To Know
Ata Rangi means “dawn sky” or “new beginning” in Maori, and you can’t think of Martinborough pioneers without including Ata Rangi’s Clive Paton, who recently received a New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Viticulture and Conservation. Founded in 1980, with humble beginnings, pinot noir is now the star here, and Helen Masters is the talented winemaker. Two pinot noirs, the magnificent Ata Rangi and the Crimson, are made. Single-vineyard examples of chardonnay, pinot gris and riesling are also produced.
The chardonnay is juicy and concentrated, but the pinot noirs are exceptional. Bordeaux lovers will enjoy the classic Célèbre blend.
For many years, Ata Rangi has been linked with Project Crimson, a conservation initiative charged with renewing and restoring native pohutukawa and rata trees back into the Martinborough ecosystems. Crimson, the younger vines pinot noir, is sold in support of Project Crimson.