Wines From Martinborough New Zealand
Thinking People, Thoughtful Wines

History

The first pioneering, exploratory grapes were planted in Martinborough in 1980, but the story started much earlier.

      

     

1880s

  

The French wife of early Masterton settler and landowner William Beetham planted grapes, at least partly nostalgic for her homeland.

1897

     

Marie Zelie Hermance Frere Beetham presented the region’s first Pinot Noir wine in Paris. 

Romeo Bragato, a graduate of the Royal School of Viticulture and Oenology in Italy, concluded that the Wairarapa was 'pre-eminently suited to viticulture' when studying New Zealand’s possibilities for winemaking
   

1908

The temperance movement, halted the development of the fledgling wine region when the Wairarapa became one of the first districts in New Zealand to vote against the sale of alcohol , and the vines were pulled out  
      
     

1979 

A government soil science report identified Martinborough as sharing remarkably similar conditions to Burgundy – an almost identical mix of free-draining river gravels, temperatures and rainfall – and prompted an exciting and bold vision of cool-climate wines from Martinborough.
  

1980

Two of the scientists involved, with two others, were so convinced of Martinborough’s potential they planted the district’s first vines and became the ‘founding four’ Martinborough wine pioneers. Those first vineyards were Ata Rangi, Chifney, Dry River and Martinborough Vineyard – three remain, with Chifney now part of Margrain Vineyard
  

1980s

Vines planted further north in Gladstone