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.
Fruit for Kupe Pinot Noir comes from Escarpment’s close-planted vineyard on Te Muna Road, Martinborough, vines which have been their pride and joy since being planted in 1999. The wine was given every priority during its elevation and now shows all the hallmarks of a grand Pinot Noir. It is at the vanguard of Pinot noir style in the New World and should age gracefully for up to 10 years. The wine is a true reflection of both Martinborough’s unique terroir and the skills and experience of winemakers Larry McKenna and Tim Bourne. Dark and brooding, this is a big Pinot that will stand up to full flavoured dishes like osso buco.