The soils of our vineyards are alluvial loams that form the Martinborough Terrace. They were created by the Huangarua River over 75,000 years ago.
With alluvial loams now layered over very deep gravels this composition ensures exceptional drainage and warmer profiles, key prerequisites for nurturing and producing premium quality, healthy grape vines.
The climate is cool with summer days rarely exceeding 30º centigrade. This allows the grapes to ripen very slowly and to develop pure, powerful fruit characters with finely textured tannins. The rainfall is the lowest in the North Island averaging about 700mm per annum with very stable weather patterns particularly during autumn, the all-important harvest period.
Escarpment's deep commitment to Pinot Noir is supported by significant plantings of the latest clonal material available on modern rootstocks. Two plant spacings have been utilized to exploit optimal value from the precious soils, while providing significant quality benefits. While these spacings are considered closely planted by New Zealand standards, it is believed greater complexity and ripeness will be achieved as a result.
An innovative planting in Escarpment’s Te Muna Road vineyard. A high density planting gives a unique opportunity for Abel clone to express its self in a distinctive manner. The 1.8ha site surrounds the Huangarua escarpment relying on a soil type laid down by the river circa 75,000 years ago. The combination of deep alluvial gravels, own rooted plants with very high leaf to fruit ratios and Martinborough’s warm dry summers creates wines of exceptional power and style. This combined with essentially traditional winemaking techniques secures Kupe as the signature wine for Escarpment’s Pinot Noir endeavours. It is at the vanguard of Pinot Noir style in New Zealand
Te Rehua Vineyard
This vineyard has a very clear style expression evolving from a traditional planting approach. Geoff Bunny sourced as many clones of Pinot Noir that were available in 1990 and planted them at random in the 1.1ha site. Diversity in planting material is an important part of Terrior producing more complexity and an array of fruit flavours in the resulting wines. Now owned by Tim & Ruth Barton the site is well sheltered and on the edge of the escarpment formed by the Huangarua River. The alluvial loams are typical of Martinborough and help to give the unique qualities when combined with the ideal summer and autumn weather patterns.
Planted on the Martinborough Terrace alluvial gravels in 1989 by Graham and Gill Cleland this 2ha site is one of the finest in the district. It consistently produces wines with pure expressive Martinborough style. Vine age, good shelter and a blend of UCD Davis clones 5, 6 and 13 merge into classic wines of great depth and character. The hallmark of this vineyard is the savory, earthy undertones combining with beautiful ripe black, red and green fruit flavours which are always expressed in the resulting Pinot Noirs. These characters are consistent from year to year ensuring the Terroir is paramount in the bottle.