ESCARPMENT VINEYARD DIRECTOR AND WINEMAKER
Larry 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.
ESCARPMENT VINEYARD WINEMAKER
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!!).
Rowans interest in viticulture and wine started at a young age as he grew up in and around vineyards in Martinborough, due to his father being Martinborough vineyards viticulturist at the time. After becoming an electrician in Gisborne then working in the Hawkes Bay and back to the Wairarapa, he decided to take the plunge and follow his passion in the wine industry. Nick Hoskins was starting up Vine Managers at the time, so he decided to take a job in 2006 and work in the vines. This cemented his passion for the industry and led him to complete a level 4 advanced viticulture whilst running Redbank Estate under the guidance of Nick. Rowan went on to manage Cobblestones (which is now our Pahi single vineyard), and Schubert vineyard before managing Escarpment under Vine managers. In 2015 he started to transition Escarpment vineyards to organics, we now have 25Ha certified. In 2019 rowan became fulltime vineyard manager with Escarpment looking to elevate and expand the Biogro certified vineyards.
Outside of work Rowan and his wife Brooke have 4 kid’s Ruby, Indigo, Rowan and Bodhi. Is a keen surfer and mountain bike rider loves the outdoors and sharing it with his family.
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.
Born and bred in the Hutt Valley, Rob developed a passion and love for fine wine while working in the luxury hospitality sector at several of London’s premier hotels and restaurants as a fine dining head waiter. Rob worked to expand his knowledge about wine and winegrowing as he served from exceptional lists featuring a selection of the finest wines from both the old and new world, with a particular focus on French regions.
Taking the plunge and heading to Martinborough, a region Rob thinks is one of the most exciting spots in the world for winegrowing, he started his viticulture journey joining Te Kairanga as part of their 2019 winter pruning crew and Escarpment since the 19’ growing season.
Rob is currently undertaking a Graduates Diploma in Viticulture at EIT and is devoted and eager to learn as much as possible about organic, sustainable viticulture and the science behind growing the best grapes possible that reflect our unique terroir in the glass.
MARKETING & EXPORT ASSISTANT
Leeann 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.
Born and raised in the Waikato, Hilary moved down to the Wairarapa in 2018. She spent two years working as a tractor operator at Matahiwi Estate, outside of Masterton, before joining the Escarpment team at the beginning of the 2020 - 2021 growing season. In her spare time, Hillary is outdoors exploring the country, playing squash and spending time with her vineyard dog, Asher.
CELLAR DOOR HOST
Katie grew up in the Bay of Plenty surrounded by kiwifruit and avocados. During school, she enjoyed horticulture class but was concerned she would end up in the kiwifruit industry. Thankfully, she was told about the Viticulture and Oenology degree offered at Lincoln and thus began her love of wine.
After internships in Central Otago and Hawkes Bay and a cellar hand job in California, she accepted a scholarship to study a Master of Viticulture and Oenology in France for the first year and Italy for the successive year. Now she is loving being back in New Zealand and experiencing a different side of the wine industry- the Cellar Door!