Winery founder Clive Paton has quite an active life outside the winery, including forrest conservation, rugby, and cricket; but decades ago, he helped define Martinborough style when he planted Gumboot cuttings his late friend Malcolm Abel had given him. He is living history, and Ata Rangi winery is a new beginning for Martinborough agriculture. In fact, Ata Rangi translates to 'New Beginnng,' or literally 'Dawn Sky' in Māori.
Here, winemaker Helen Masters runs a tight and focused ship. She & her vineyard managers farm sustainably and the 2011 pinot noir speaks of Martinborough terroir. Though there is much Gumboot in here, they also blend in other clones for complexity, resulting in a rich and complex pinot noir that excels on many levels. The warmer-than-usual 2011 vintage made this a ripe bottling. Because the stem and seed phenolics were so ripe, they used about 10% of whole clusters in the fermentation which also increased the power, density, and complexity of this wine.