Larry McKenna – otherwise known as Larry McPinot – is the man behind Escarpment, having founded it in 1999. Larry and his team now work closely with Australian wine estate Torbreck, who purchased the estate in 2019, to ensure the continued success of the wines. Larry remains head winemaker, bringing his award-winning approach to each vintage.
The vineyards are sited above a natural escarpment sitting above the Huarangarua River on ancient gravels. Overlooking them are the Aorangi Ranges where Maori legend has it that the Polynesian voyager Kupe abandoned 3 canoes. The upturned canoes are still clearly visible, silhouetted along the top of the ridge, and Kupe’s image takes pride of place on every Escarpment label. Escarpment is registered as a Sustainable NZ producer and is currently following a five-year plan to become organically certified.
Escarpment’s Pinot Gris vines are grown on the alluvial gravel soils of the Martinborough Terrace; inspired by the classical French approach to the variety. Flavours are reminiscent of ripe pears and white stone fruit with a delightful soft texture ensuring a long commanding finish. The dry style has enhanced the fruit flavours Pinot Gris is renowned for. A great wine to try with foods with strong aromatics like ginger.