The Elder Pinot

Wine of Uncompromised Quality

Our philosophy is simply to make single vineyard wines of uncompromised quality. Using only our own Estate Grown fruit, from the best vintages, we place a strong emphasis on the elegant, yet complex characteristics of great pinots.


About The Elder Pinot

The Terrior

Mike and Margaret Hanson spent a long time searching for the perfect piece of land before finding what is now ‘Hanson Vineyard’ in 1996. They set out to buy five acres but fell in love with thirty, situated on the old river terraces of the Ruakokapatuna River. Over-looking Martinborough’s Te Muna Valley, it is a truly amazing site with a unique terroir and stunning views.

Martinborough winemaking pioneer and neighbor Bill Brink was horrified at Mike and Margaret’s plans to plant the entire site in olives, declaring it is a crime to not plant grapes. As a result of his persuasion the site is now home to more than 6000 vines and 1100 olive trees. It produces small quantities of intensely flavoured grapes and top quality olive oil off the elevated and stony soils. The Canoes to the east and Birch Hill to the south provide idyllic views and shelter for the vines, while creating a favourable low-frost climate. The application of sustainable wine growing principles from the start, and now a transition to an organic approach, has helped to nurture and bring out the best in this terroir.

The site continues to capture the hearts of those who visit. It is a special place, peaceful, where the land speaks and the vines watch over the valley below.


The People

Three years after planting their vines, Mike and Margaret approached Martinborough Vineyard with the hope of establishing a relationship as growers. Nigel Elder, then MV’s viticulturist, visited the site and was excited by what he found, a brilliant soil profile and ideal surrounds for growing top quality pinot. He believed that the site would produce grapes complementary to Martinborough Vineyard’s existing plantings but also considered it had the potential to produce outstanding single vineyard wines.

Having worked in the wine industry for ten years, including vintages in Europe and Australia, Nigel recognised the potential of Martinborough pinot noir. He was involved in producing many great wines at MV alongside winemakers Larry McKenna and Claire Muholland.

Mike and Margaret formed a close relationship with Nigel in the years that followed, with Nigel acting as an advisor and helping to keep spirits high in the challenging years when crops were small. As the vineyard evolved, Nigel became increasingly impressed with the quality of the fruit and after ten years proposed producing single-vineyard wines from the site.

A series of late-night discussions held over pork bellies and pinots followed between Mike, Margaret, Nigel and Bridgit (Nigel’s soon-to-be wife). The friends unanimously agreed that they wanted to produce hand-crafted wines of uncompromised quality, wines that would be savoured, wines that would be remembered

Martinborough Olive Harvest Festival


We are members of New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowers


Our Wine

At Elder we focus on just two wines Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris

Pinot Noir

The 2012 Pinot Noir is a beautifully balanced wine with a lovely floral spectrum. It is lower in alcohol and a little firmer than normal with great fruit flavours, more in the savoury spectrum than the typical plum and red berry fruits. The wine still shows great fruit expression, vibrant acidity, superb length and elegance. The structure will allow it to age gracefully; certainly more slowly than in warmer seasons. It is ‘prettier’ than the 2011 and perhaps similar in many ways to the superb 2010 vintage.

DOWNLOAD: Tasting Notes: Elder Pinot Noir 2012.pdf

Pinot Gris

The 2014 Pinot Gris is rich and harmonious with aromas of ripe stone fruit and spice on the nose. Made in the Alsatian style, where texture is the key element, this wine shows lovely depth of flavour on the palate yet remains elegant and well balanced. A small amount of residual sugar (<2.0g/L) balances the lovely textural elements of this wine. This Pinot Gris will be best enjoyed in its youth but will further develop over the next 5+ years.

DOWNLOAD: Tasting Notes: Elder Pinot Gris 2013.pdf



The Elder Pinot Martinborough Pinot Gris 2010

Straw-yellow colour with some depth, this has a full, rich nose of yellow stonefruits, spiced pears and lifted, spicy oak aromas. Dry to taste, this is medium-full bodied with a softly rich, somewhat restrained palate showing ripe yellow stonefruit flavours with nutty, spicy oak in balance and beginning to become integrated. There is an underlying power and the wine is softly textured, the moderate acidity adding to the round mouthfeel. Fruit from the “Hanson” vineyard, TeMuna, 50% fermented in seasoned oak to 13.5% alc. and 3 g/L rs., on lees for 4 months. A stylish wine with some oak spice interest that will match poultry and pork over the next 3-4+ years. 75 cases made.

17.5+/20 Aug 2011 RRP $35.00

The Elder Pinot Martinborough Pinot Noir 2010

Clones 5, 115 and Abel with some 114 and 667, from the “Hanson” vineyard in TeMuna, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in French oak. Moderately deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, this has a full, robust nose with densely packed dark red berry fruits along with nuances of savoury dark herbs, a little shy in expression at present. Full-bodied, this has mouthfilling flavours of ripe dark red berry fruits and herb and savoury earth elements on a well-structured, grainy textured palate. The fruit sweetness and fresh acidity contribute to a fullness and liveliness. This should develop well and come together over the next 5-6 years. Serve with duck, pork, lamb and Mediterranean cuisine. 200 cases made.
18.0+/20 Aug 2011 RRP $56.00

The Elder Pinot Martinborough Pinot Noir 2011

Deep ruby. Very perfumed; strawberry, raspberry yet with a degree of savoury bite. Good density of fruit on the palate, firm tannins, big alcohol and a long sustained finish. Impressive.
Jane Skilton – The Independant Wine Monthly April 2013


Find Our Wines


Martinborough Wine Centre



Direct sales are available from: www.mustwines.co.uk Contact them at: service@mustwines.co.uk Tel. 01848 200235

For trade enquiries please contact: Andrew Bayley at Fields, Morris & Verdin, Tel. +44 (0)20 7819 0360




BOTTLE SHOTS – zip file (4MB)


Contact Us

The Elder Pinot
950 White Rock Road,
RD 2,
Martinborough, 5782

Email: info@theelderpinot.co.nz

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