Helen Masters



Winemaker, Ata Rangi

Helen Masters (owner of the most consistently cool haircut in the entire New Zealand wine industry), enjoyed a short stint at Ata Rangi Wines back in her formative years, before heading off to Massey University to do a Food Technology degree with honours. But she couldn’t shake the wine bug and ended up grafting vintages at some rather impressive vineyards overseas before settling back in Martinborough and taking the helm at Ata Rangi in 2003.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the all-consuming responsibility of making wine for a brand of international repute would be so demanding that any form of life and leisure outside of it could be nigh-on impossible. Any spare moment would call for a cup of tea and a lie-down surely?

Not so for Masters, who for thirteen years has been rising to the challenge of ever-increasing demand for excellence when it comes to creating top-level wine that’s exported to some 30 countries. 30 countries! The mind-boggling thing is how she manages to balance a frantically busy family life amidst it.

A complete glutton for punishment, she’s recently taken on a vineyard of her own. What?? You heard correct. Alongside the day job, Helen and her partner Ben together with a healthy dose of child labour from kids Stella and Harvey – are now growing grapes for supply. No prizes for guessing where that excellent fruit will end up.