Martinborough hosts New Zealand’s biggest annual wine event,attracting more than 10,000 devotees one of 26 small but thriving wineries operating in the Martinborough region.
Other wine pioneers in the area fell into the business almost by accident. Clive Paton was a dairy farmer before he began making wine. His vineyard, Ata Rangi (Maori for ‘new beginning’ or ‘dawn sky’), now produces about 10,000 cases of premium wine each year, about 40 per cent of which is exported.
Paton admits that he knew very little about wine before planting his first vines in 1980. None of us did,’ he says. That’s the classic Kiwi way.’ The pinot from Ata Rangi has since won plaudits around the world. After tasting the 2002 vintage one Australian writer called Paton the King of New Zealand Pinot’.
Labels such as Palliser, Ata Rangi,
Nga Waka, Te Kairanga, Murdoch James
Ata Rangi, top left, one of the vineyards supplying wine to The Martinborough Hotel, top right, which offers dishes such as seared salmon, bottom left