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 Terroir

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


We are members of New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowers


Our Wine

At The Elder Pinot we focus on two varieties: Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris

Pinot Noir

The 2017 vintage presents aromas of ripe dark red cherries and berry fruit which abound on the nose with hints of floral perfume in the background, adding complexity and intrigue. Soft velvety tannins form the backbone of this succulent and vibrant Pinot. The red cherries come through in the mid palate, along with savoury notes and touches of nutty oak spice. This is a superbly balanced, elegant and weighted wine that will age for up to ten years.

DOWNLOAD:  The Elder Pinot Noir 2017 Tasting Notes

Pinot Noir Rose

The 2020 Pinot Noir Rose is a bright, vibrant pink in colour with aromas of cherries, redcurrants and watermelon on the nose. On the palate the wine is dry to the taste with layers of red fruits and a lovely soft richness helping fill out the wine. This creates a delicious medium bodied Rosé with texture and weight. Serve chilled anytime now and for the next 2-3 years.

DOWNLOAD: The Elder Rose 2020 Tasting Notes

Pinot Gris

The 2019 vintage is characterised by aromas of ripe pear, ginger spice and red apples with floral notes come together beautifully on the nose to from an attractive and refined wine. Dry in style the palate shows lovely weight and texture without cloying and has juicy stonefruit characters and a lovely mineral edge running through the wine. A beautiful lingering finish rounds off a serious yet approachable style of Pinot Gris.

DOWNLOAD: The Elder Pinot Gris 2019 Tasting Notes



The Elder Martinborough Pinot Noir 2015 – 95 Points

Elelgant, primary, earthy and youthful bouquet of Pinot Noir with aromas of darker red berry fruits laced with oak spicy and a smoky wood spice complexity. Dry on the palate with a complex layered mouth feel. Firm chalky tannin and plenty of acidity encasing the flavours of red berries and oak. Lengthy finish but very youthful needing cellar time of at least 3 more years. Best from 2021 through 2030.

Cameron Douglas – May 2018

The Elder Martinborough Pinot Noir 2014 – 5 Stars

Fragrant and supple, the 2014 vintage was grown in the Hanson Vineyard, at Te Muna, and matured in French oak casks (13 per cent new). Deep ruby, it is mouthfilling and savoury, with a strong surge of well-ripened plum, cherry and spice flavours, showing good complexity, and a rich, finely textured finish. Already delicious.

Michael Cooper – December 2016

The Elder Martinborough Pinot Noir 2013 – 5 Stars

A very expressive bouquet heavily laced with aromas of soil, minerals and ripe red fruits from cherry to plum to blackcurrant; overall youthful and alluring. On the palate – dry, medium bodied and with a tight structure accentuating firm tannins and medium++ acidity; a wine still climbing the integration and development ladder carrying great potential along the way.

Cameron Douglas – March 2015

The Elder Martinborough Pinot Noir 2013 – 5 Stars

Dark sensual florals, berryfruit… dark fruit entry, dark cherry, plum… great length and structure… fine but strong bones… great balance and poise. 18+

John Saker – September 2015

The Elder Martinborough Pinot Noir 2013 – 5 Stars

Finely scented, powerful, weighty red, from a site overlooking Te Muna Valley.  Youthful, dense, spicy and savoury, with good tannin support and excellent ripeness, complexity and harmony.  Best drinking 2017+.

Winestate – February 2015

The Elder Pinot Martinborough Pinot Noir 2011 –  Stars

Quiet, spice, red cherry… attractive drenching quality, red fruit notes dominant,  well-managed tannins and acid profile… interesting lines… some good ‘herb’… great length… very interesting pinot… light, lively but saturating… elegant but powerful. 18+.

John Saker – August 2013

The Elder Pinot Martinborough Pinot Noir 2010 – 4 Stars

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

The Elder Martinborough Pinot Gris 2016 – 4½ Stars

Straw-yellow colour. This is full and voluminous with bold white and yellow stonefruits, hints of nutty oak? Fulsome and with plenty of breadth, luscious fruited with honey elements, but good underlying acidity. (18.0+/20)

Raymond Chan – March 2018

The Elder Martinborough Pinot Gris 2015 – 4½ Stars

Distinctive, youthful, single-vineyard wine, tank-fermented with indigenous yeasts and lees-aged for six months in old barriques. Mouthfilling, with vibrant, pure lychee, pear and spice flavours, showing excellent delicacy and depth, a very subtle oak influence, and a dry, lingering finish.

Winestate – May 2016

The Elder Martinborough Pinot Gris 2012 – 4.5 Stars

Powerful, tightly structured wine, hand-harvested at Te Muna, tank-fermented and matured in a 50/50 split of tanks and old French barriques.  Still a baby, with excellent concentration of vibrant citrus fruit and pear flavours, subtle mealy and nutty notes adding complexity, and a dry (3.5 grams/litre of residual sugar), minerally finish.  Open mid-2014+.  ««««½

Winestate – August 2013

The Elder Pinot Martinborough Pinot Gris 2010 – 4 Stars

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

 The Elder, Martinborough Rosé 2016 – 4.5 Stars

The delicious 2016 vintage (««««½) was made from Pinot Noir grapes, estate-grown at Te Muna. Bright pink, it is freshly scented and weighty, with strong, vibrant plum/cherry flavours, hints of strawberries and spices, and a finely balanced, dry (2 grams/litre of residual sugar) finish.


Find Our Wines


Contact Us

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

Email: info@theelderpinot.co.nz

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