The Wairarapa wine region nestled in the rain shadow of the Tararua and Rimutaka ranges and its sub-regions (Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton) are linked by the Ruamahunga River. The region’s Maori name actually means ‘glistening waters’, and from its Tararua source, this river flows southwards, attracting waters from contributory streams as it flows to Palliser Bay. In addition to sharing picturesque, rural towns like Greytown and Carterton, these sub-regions also share ancient alluvial river terraces which, when combined with scorching summers and long, dry
autumns, provide a recipe for winegrowing glory. These conditions reminded Marie Zelie, (the French wife of early settler William Beetham) of her native Burgundy, so she planted 3000 vines in the late 1880’s and produced the region’s first pinot near Masterton in 1887. Sadly prohibition put paid to the vines, however 100 years later, two soil scientists and two locals discovered the Martinborough region had almost identical terroir characteristics to Burgundy and planted vines in 1980. They became the ‘founding four’ and over the coming decade, grapes spread north to Gladstone and back into Masterton – completing a century of history.
Just a lazy hour and a half’s drive north from Wellington, the Wairarapa is home to some of the most prestigious wineries in New Zealand.
Ata Rangi Vineyard
ATA RANGI VINEYARD
Big Sky Wines
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…
BIG SKY WINES
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.
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.
Murdoch James Estate
MURDOCH JAMES ESTATE
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.
PALLISER ESTATE WINES
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.