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 Elder we focus on just two varieties: Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris

Pinot Noir

The 2014 Pinot Noir presents a wonderfully aromatic mix of dark red fruits including cherries and plums. Hints of spice, floral and savoury undertones make for a complex yet approachable wine. On the palate the velvety tannin structure balances beautifully against a body of red fruit flavours. The low cropped vineyards deliver a wine showing weight, richness and depth that is beautifully ingrained with a fine balance of acidity and red fruit characters on the palate.

DOWNLOAD: Tasting Notes: Elder Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir Rose

The 2016 Pinot Noir Rose is bright and pale-salmon in colour, with aromas of strawberry, raspberry and watermelon on the nose. Dry to the taste, with richness and body, layers of red fruits and creamy notes and a backbone of soft acidity provide texture and weight to the wine. This is a moderately full bodied, elegant and complex style of Rose. Serve chilled now or anytime over the next 2-3 years.
DOWNLOAD: Tasting Notes: Elder Pinot Noir Rose 2016

Pinot Gris

The 2015 Pinot Gris is characterised by ripe stone fruit, particularly white peach and nectarine notes, with hints of floral and ginger spice characters. The mouth feel is very textural – dry and weighty with fleshy stone fruit and fine textured tannins that give a long balanced profile. A serious style of Pinot Gris to be enjoyed now or cellared for up to 5 years.
DOWNLOAD: Tasting Notes: Elder Pinot Gris 2015.pdf



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 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


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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