Our Team


LARRY MCKENNA

ESCARPMENT VINEYARD DIRECTOR AND WINEMAKER

 Larry McKennaLarry has firmly established himself as a leading winemaker in these parts and is particularly renowned and respected as one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent Pinot Noir winemaker. Referred to by various wine writers and authorities as everything from the ‘Prince of Pinot Noir’, the ‘Godfather of Pinot Noir’, a Pinot Noir ‘legend’, and ‘maestro’, Larry has built a solid reputation for understanding and gaining the best out of this typically stubborn and capricious grape. (No mean feat, for as leading British wine writer, Jancis Robinson, says “pinot is a minx of a grape” and “demands much of both vine-grower and winemaker”).

Much of Larry’s success with wine making has come from a deep seated passion for producing the very best wine out of the grapes he has to work with. He takes a collaborative approach to wine making and believes in sharing his knowledge and understanding with fellow winemakers to ensure collective learning and progression occurs. He points to the developments and successes in recent years with NZ’s Pinot Noir and argues that the open exchange the winemakers have shared and the fact they represent a range if nationalities and approaches to wine making and this grape, benefits the quality of the wine produced.

Playing an integral role in helping shape the development of Pinot Noir in New Zealand, Larry has headed-up a number of winemaker-critiquing workshops and conferences to ensure this open exchange and healthy sharing of learning and knowledge continues and is valued by emerging wine makers as well as established ones.

Known for his relaxed and unassuming style Larry applies the same approach to his winemaking. Rather than force a wine into doing something out of character, he works with the grapes to develop distinctively superior wines that are true to character, quality and vintage. And this doesn’t stop at Pinot Noir. Regardless of the varietal, Larry applies the same skill, precision, understanding and integrity to ensure his pinot gris, chardonnay, riesling and pinot blanc stand proudly alongside his noir.

Born and bred in Adelaide, Australia he graduated from the Roseworthy Agricultural College there in 1976 and has nearly three decades of wine making experience under his belt. After travelling for a stint through Europe sampling the wine culture, he ‘cut his teeth’ with fellow Roseworthy student, John Hancock, at Delegat’s Wine Estate in Auckland, New Zealand.

In 1986 Larry left Auckland to take up the position of CEO/Winemaker at Martinborough Vineyard in the Wairarapa region. From 1986 to 1999 he grew this company from 20 to 160 tonnes and firmly put Martinborough Vineyard and himself on the world map as one of the pre-eminent New World Pinot Noir producers and winemakers.

 

TIM BOURNE

ESCARPMENT VINEYARD WINEMAKER

Tim Bourne

Initially graduating with a BSc, majoring in Geography,Tim spent a few years working and travelling and not knowing what he wanted to do. After returning from  OE in the UK,  he fell on his feet with his first vintage in Marlborough,  and caught the wine bug. He then went back to study a post-graduate diploma in Oenology through EIT in the Hawke’s Bay.

Short stints in Central Otago and Waipara, along with a vintage in The Great Southern Region in Western Australia, lead Tim to the Barossa Valley.  After working in the Barossa for nearly 7 years, Tim once again returning to Marlborough. eventually taking up the opportunity to work with Larry and the fantastic Escarpment wines.

Tim has  worked as an Associate Judge in a number of Australian and New Zealand wineshows and was the dux of the AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment Course in 2015.

Outside of work, he and his wife Lacey have 3 fantastic children Eamon, Campbell and Xanthe. With spare time dedicated to them, along with exploring the wonderful world of wine (and gin!!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROWAN HOSKINS

VINEYARD MANAGER

Rowan Hoskins

Rowan grew up in and around vineyards in Martinborough. His father worked as the Martinborough Vineyard’s viticulturist, forming an early interest in viticulture

Initially training as an electrician, when his father Nick Hoskins started up Vinemanagers Contracting. Rowan took a year off electrical work in 2006 to work in the vines. This quickly moved into being the tractor driver within a year and followed quickly by running Redbank Estate under the guidance of Nick in 2008.

He has since gained a breadth of knowledge in the wine industry: working vintages at Matahiwi winery, competing in the young viticulturist competition twice, then helped to manage the Martinborough regional competition in 2015 to 2020. He managed Redbank and Cobblestones vineyard in the rugged Te Muna Road area, east of Martinborough, then the Schubert Biogro certified vineyard in 2012. Rowan has been integral in the Martinborough part of the “Virus elimination project” collecting data and working with growers to identify Grapevine leaf roll virus type three.

Beginning the Escarpment transition to organics in 2015, firstly under Vinemanagers, bringing the organic vineyards up to 24ha certified. In 2019 he transferred to Escarpment full time, with a focus on elevating the Biogro certified vineyards.

Outside of work, with his wife Brooke, has four kids: Ruby 11, Indigo 9, Rowan 7 and Bodhi 1 year old. He is a keen surfer, and enjoys time at the beach with his family, walking in the local native bush in the Wairarapa, and time on the mountain bike every now and then

 

 

ANDREA CANNING

OFFICE MANAGER

Andrea Canning

Andrea joined Escarpment in August 2017 having worked in office administration and customer service roles for 25 years.

While she is an amateur but enthusiastic ‘taster of wine’ she is looking forward to furthering her knowledge working alongside the team at Escarpment. She loves the lifestyle Martinborough offers and enjoys spending her time with her husband and family, and is an avid sports fan – in particular Football (that’s the round ball).

Andrea is your first point of contact and looks after all the day-to-day administration, sales and logistics for Escarpment Vineyard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROB JASIONOWICZ

VINE WHISPERER

ROB JASIONOWICZ

Born and bred in the Hutt Valley, Rob went on from college to pursue his passion of the Arts undertaking a Bachelor of Music with a second major in English Literature.

Shortly after, a move to London was decidedly the best way to gain some real-life experience and this is where Rob discovered the world of fine wine and a lifelong passion was born. Having interests in luxury hospitality, Rob worked stints at several of London’s premier 5-star hotels before landing a dream gig as a fine dining head waiter at Hotel Café Royal. Part of the allure of the hotel was its unique history having been set up by a French wine merchant and which at one point had been widely regarded as having the greatest wine cellar on earth.

Over the course of the next two years Rob gained a wealth of knowledge about wine and winegrowing as he served from an exceptional list featuring a selection of the finest wines from both the old and new world, with a particular focus on French regions.

Moving to Melbourne with his fiancé whom he met in London, Rob continued to work in fine dining but the temptation to make a move into the wine making world grew stronger and stronger. Taking the plunge and heading to Martinborough, a region Rob thinks is one of the most exciting spots in the wine world, he started his viticulture journey joining Te Kairanga as part of their 2019 winter pruning crew. Since being offered a position with Escarpment and having completed his first vintage, Rob is devoted and eager to learn as much as possible about organic viticulture and to grow the best grapes possible that reflect our beautiful and unique region in the glass.

 

 

 

LEEANN ONIELL

MARKETING & EXPORT ASSISTANT

 Leeann OneillLeeann has worked in the tourism sector in the Wairarapa for many years, bringing a wealth of tourism experience. She is using this to assist in the development of the Escarpment Cellar Door at Peppers Parehua and with the promotion of the Escarpment wine range, as the winery heads into new overseas markets.


Leeann assists Andrea with office administration, export sales and documentation, along with social media. She is excited to be working alongside Larry and the Escarpment team learning as much as she can about wine.

She was born in the Wairarapa, and after having two children in Australia, headed home in 2004, before adding a third. She has enjoyed watching the area grow as a destination for both visitors and Wellingtonians making the Wairarapa their home or weekend playground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOEL FARMER

THE TRACTOR WHISPERER

Noel Farmer

Noel has been the star tractor driver for Escarpment Vineyard since the early years of 2002. He has a wealth of knowledge about the vines and the region, and is self-proclaimed as the number 1 tractor driver in Martinborough!

He is a very happy man when he has a new pair of gumboots, but you wouldn’t want to catch him on a holy gumboot day! He has recently published a book titled “The World According to Noel,” for orders please talk to him directly. He is thoroughly enjoying his journey of self-discovery along the path towards Bio dynamics.

If Noel likes you, he will invite you to KFC with him, on one of his regular trips into Masterton! Noel’s favourite saying is “I Noel nothing,” which can be heard during our regular meetings here at Escarpment.