Larry McKenna



The Prince of Pinot

Once described by an aristocratic, English, tweed-wearing, old-boy wine writer as looking “more like a nightclub bouncer than a winemaker”, Larry McKenna (or Larry McPinot to his mates) can easily lay claim to being one of New Zealand’s true gentlemen of the wine industry. Even though he’s Australian. Brought up in Adelaide South Australia, McKenna graduated from Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1976 and has racked up over 30 years of winemaking experience since. After travelling through Europe sampling their wine culture, he ‘cut his teeth’ at Delegat’s Wine Estate in Auckland, New Zealand.

In 1986 Larry took up the position of CEO/Winemaker at Martinborough Vineyard where for the next 13 years he cemented Martinborough Vineyard as one of the New World’s most prestigious pinot noir producers and secured a place for himself in pinot noir lore and legend.

Since 1999 Larry has been Director and Winemaker for Escarpment Vineyard on Martinborough’s Te Muna Terraces, and together with business partners Robert and Mem Kirby, Escarpment had a simple aim: to continually produce the very best of tomorrow’s definitive New World wines.

Recently Larry has been inducted into the NZ Wine Hall of Fame and received further recognition as a recipient of the George Fistonich medal for services to the NZ Wine Industry.