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Meet Paul Mason
Chief Winemaker at Martinborough Vineyard

It was Martinborough Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir that got Paul into winemaking. Now known as Marie Zelie, the 1994 vintage will always be a firm favourite for Paul.
Paul considers himself to be a caretaker of all things Martinborough Vineyard and feels very privileged to be the head winemaker. He’s also worked extensively in New Zealand with vintages at Coopers Creek, de Redcliffe and Villa Maria and has also worked in France, Italy, Chile, Australia and the US.

Paul's top picks:
What makes Wairarapa Pinot Noir so decadent or unique?
To me Wairarapa Pinot has a lovely cross over between old world savoury textural characters and new world fruitiness. It’s a perfect combination that makes Pinots that are appealing in their youth and equally delicious with age.

Your favourite food match with Pinot Noir?
 Neil Perry’s Persian Style Lamb Stew - really emphasises the savoury, spicy characters I see in our Pinot Noirs.

The best Pinot Noir you’ve ever made?
2008 Marie Zelie Pinot Noir

Name a current release Pinot Noir of yours?
2018 Martinborough Vineyard Home Block Pinot Noir

Describe it in three words: Savoury, complex, textural.

What’s the aroma/flavour profile? Lovely red fruits and spice characters on the nose with savoury, mushroom background notes. The palate is rich and complex, yet showing lovely secondary mouth filling richness and depth of flavour.

Best local food favourites in Martinborough?
Fish & Chips at Lake Ferry Hotel – great spot to see the wild southern coast line, hands down the best place for a midweek coffee is Kitchener’s in town. It’s an old school kiwi café, not flash fittings or anything but does the best coffee and service is always super quick (plus they are open crazy early in the morning - weekdays only). If you are in town on the weekend then try Neighbourhood Café on the square. Lovely vibe, great people watching and delicious food and coffee. For lunch head to Moy Hall Wines and try their tasty modern shared plates menu.

Best Local activities?
Rapaki Hill Walk – It’s a gorgeous walk, from the top you get a view Martinborough town towards the Remutaka/ Tararua mountain range and on the other side you get to see the Te Muna Rd vineyards and the Nga Waka o Kupe hills behind. There is also a little seat on the top to enjoy the stunning views.