The grapes to produce the Pinot Noir “Crimson” Martinborough Ata Rangi were hand picked, with 90% destemmed and 10% whole bunch. Pre-fermentation maceration lasted between two and six days. The must was inoculated with 100% natural yeasts and fermentation lasted two to three weeks in open top stainless steel tanks, with hand-plunging throughout. The wine was racked into oak barrels, of which 20% were new, where it remained for a further 12 months after malolactic fermentation until bottling.
This wine was inspired by the deep Crimson blooms of the iconic Pohutukawa tree, (the ‘New Zealand Christmas Tree’). A portion of the sales of this wine support Project Crimson, a charitable conservation trust that plants and protects these trees across the country. The Pinot Noir grapes for Crimson are produced from 5-20 year old Martinborough vines. The area is a deep gravel terrace with an alluvial loess layer over the gravels.
Ata Rangi, meaning ‘dawn sky, new beginning’ is owned and managed by a family trio – Clive Paton, his wife Phyll and his sister Alison. Clive planted the bare, stony five-hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Joined by winemaker Helen Masters, Ata Rangi is renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand’s best and in 2010 was awarded the ‘Tipuranga Teitei O Aotearoa,’ New Zealand’s ‘Grand Cru’ equivalent. Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.