About Ata Rangi
Ata Rangi is a small New Zealand winery with a renowned reputation for Pinot Noir. Ata Rangi, meaning “dawn sky” or “new beginning” in Maori. Ata Rangi is one of the best known wineries in New Zealand with internationally recocgnized wines.
Ata Rangi Pinot Noir is undoubtedly the flagship wine. In 2010, it was honoured with the inaugural Tipuranga Teitei o Aotearoa or “Grand Cru of New Zealand”.
Run by Clive Paton, his sister Alison Paton and his partner Phyllis Pattie, the family business has grown significantly since its beginning.
Ata Rangi is part of the Family of Twelve. The Family of Twelve is a fraternity of twelve of New Zealand’s most prestigious and enduring artisanal wineries.
"Ata Rangi Pinot Noir is a Kiwi classic." - Bob Campbell MW
Ata Rangi: The beginning
The early days were tough. With no trees for shelter, young vines struggled against the howling nor-westers. Clive relied on the sale of pumpkins and garlic that he hdd grown between the rows, and on family and friends who pitched in to help. He was also a solo Dad, raising young daughter Ness.
His persistence paid out. In 1986 Clive won his first Gold Medal, no small thanks to the legendary 'gumboot clone' of Pinot Noir.
Now, almost four decades later - backed by a string of awards and accolades - Ata Rangi is well established in 25 international markets. Ata Rangi has an enviable reputation as one of the New World's most respected Pinot Noir producers.
Clive was right to set his base in Martinborough... the small town has transformed from a rural backwater to a laid-back, charmingly rustic wine village with a cluster of cafes, restaurants, quirky boutiques and a day-spa; a popular destination for wine-and-food lovers from all over the world, and a great escape from bustling city life.
Ata Rangi vineyards
Martinborough is a small rural village located near the bottom of the North Island. It an hour’s drive from Wellington across the Remutaka mountain range.
The valley is protected from rain by mountains on three sides. Harvest days are warm, yet nights are cool year round due to direct exposure to the southern ocean.
These factors contribute significantly to the consistency of quality, both by preserving fruit intensity and facilitating a long, slow, steady ripening through the autumn.
The stony river terrace on which most of the vines are planted is made up of very shallow silt-loam on top of 25-metre-deep alluvial gravels. The stones are mostly quartz-threaded greywacke and to a lesser extent volcanic basalts.
This very free-draining profile, combined with the windiest and driest climate in the North Island – around 700mm rainfall a year – means humidity and therefore disease risk is low. Spring is typically cool and windy, often resulting in imperfect flowering which keeps yields naturally in check, at a much lower average tonnage per acre than the rest of the country.
Ata Rangi has around 49ha vineyards in different sites. The sites are all very close together and feature the characteristic Martinborough Terrace profile of about 30cm of shallow silt-loam on top of 25 metre-deep alluvial gravels.
The original vines are almost 40 years old, a major factor in the quality and consistency from year to year. All grapes are hand-harvested.
Ata Rangi winemaker
Ata Rangi winemaker is the dynamic Helen Masters. Helen has been the driving force of excellence in Ata Rangi winemaking since 2003. She was recently awarded the 2019 NZ Winemaker of the Year by judges from Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine’s team.
As well as maintaining a very close relationship with the vineyard team, she champions Ata Rangi's ISO14001 Environmental certification programme. Ata Rangi is one of only a handful of ISO-14001 certified wineries in the world. Helen is also the face of the business in Ata Rangi's extensive range of overseas markets. Helen also is the cohost of the upcoming Pinot Noir 2022 mega event in New Zealand.