Clive had tried his hand as a grave-digger and a milkman before finally getting lucky in his third career choice – a winemaker. Ata Rangi is a Maori word for “dawning sky” or “new beginning” which is apt considering that when Clive Paton bought the property in 1980 he had never run a vineyard or made wine in his life. Back then Clive traded the promise of a steady income for a bare, scruffy sheep paddock on the outskirts of Martinborough.
He was one of a handful of winemaking pioneers in Martinborough, then a forgotten rural settlement, who were attracted to the area by two key features - the localised, free-draining shingle terrace some 20 metres deep and the lowest rainfall records of anywhere on the North Island of New Zealand.
Today Martinborough is a thriving wine appellation with an international reputation, particularly for premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Today Ata Rangi concentrates on hand making world class wines, namely pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and their Celebre (a cabernet blend). Yields are very low, typically 2 tonnes per acre and all grapes are hand-picked. Vines are now 20 years old, a factor in the wines ascending quality. Winemaking is very traditional using small, closed fermenters with wide top manholes which allow hand plunging. 20 hectares of vines are managed from which around 80 tonnes are crushed annually.
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A cooler 2012 has resulted in a very expressive Sauvignon Blanc, less tropical than the 2011 with more lemon/lime, fresh passion-fruit, a lovely flinty character and a twist of mint. There's a creaminess to the texture derived from the portion fermented in barrel, and a real drive and energy on the... more
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The dream vintage of 2006 has produced a lively, fruit-expressive Pinot that reflects the strong Ata Rangi heritage. Selected barrel components kept separate during fermentation and maturation integrated unusually effortlessly on blending, immediately revealing a wine of deceptive power and grace -... more
A very low yielding vintage and wonderfully warm early summer has delivered a
dense, structured, deeply sumptuous, velvet-textured Pinot Noir with great
density. This is a serious, cellar worthy Pinot.
Opened within the next couple of years, expect to savor the rich cherry stone
Sweet plum cherry blackberry aromas laced with toast and vanilla from oak. Sap and cherry pip nuances. Fleshy fruit sweet concentrated palate with terrific weight density extract and great elegance.
On the nose there is a treasure trove of seductive aromas - sweet summer plums, plump black cherries, hints of coffee/chocolate and exotic spice. The texture is firm, with fine-grained yet sinewy, supple tannin supporting and balancing the characteristic Ata Rangi opulence and rich, lingering... more
Pinot Noir 2003 is drop dead gorgeous. It is the result of very low
yields (halved by frosts in the spring of 2002) combined with 20 years of hands-on experience with the variety.
Based predominantly on the Abel clone (aka the Ata Rangi clone), Clone 5 and the Dijon clone selections, it... more
On the nose there ís a treasure trove of seductive aromas - sweet summer plums, plump black cherries, hints of coffee/chocolate and exotic spice. The texture is firm, with fine-grained yet sinewy, supple tannin supporting and balancing the characteristic Ata Rangi opulence and rich, lingering... more
A warm, very dry Autumn paved the way for a superb 2001 vintage. There's a treasure trove of seductive aromas - sweet plums, plump black cherries with hints of coffee, chocolate and exotic spice.
The texture is firm, with fine-grained yet sinewy, supple tannin supporting and balancing the... more
Powerful, avoursome red with plum, berry-fruit and mint plus a subtle seasoning of black
pepper. Celebre has been leaning more toward the Rhone in style over the last couple of years,
with Syrah and Cabernet now vying for position in the blend , each at 40% in this release.
Merlot, which... more