I’ve always had a soft spot for Ata Rangi winery in Martinborough because it was one of the first and was pioneered by a man who knows how to follow his heart. Clive Paton. He’s at least as dedicated to environmental work these days as he is to wine because he has something of a penchant for replanting native trees all over the country in his role as advisor, fount of wisdom and passionate lover of nature for Project Crimson, but that’s another story.

Back when he founded Ata Rangi Wines, Clive was a single dad and a shear farmer with a love of red wine in a country awash with Lion Brown. Not that there’s anything wrong with a good beer, if you’re that way inclined, but Clive wasn’t. He lived in the Southern Wairarapa and had heard of a few fledgling wineries in Martinborough, so, one Saturday, he decided to go and take a look for himself, his young daughter Ness was along for the ride. He looked at a piece of land and instantly decided to buy it and grow vines to make wine. If you know Clive – or met him for the first time – you probably wouldn’t call him rash. He is quietly spoken and seems to be extremely considered, but that instant decision to follow his heart into wine was one that was not only spur of the moment, but changed his life for the better. His young daughter is now married with children of her own, which she shares with her husband who is another great winemaker – John Kavanagh of Te Kairanga Wines.  And Clive also has a long term partner in life and in wine in the fellow winemaker Phyll Pattie (who rarely talks of her days in winemaking since she manages marketing and pretty everything else at Ata Rangi).

The winemaker today is Helen Masters, who will present a stellar line up of the Ata Rangi wines at a tasting at Regional Wines & Spirits in Wellington on Thursday 19 October from 6pm to 8pm.

The cost is $50 per person and bookings are essential.

Book by calling Regional Wines, phone 04 385 6952 or hook onto the website here to book at Regional Wines…

The line-up on the night

2017 Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris

2011 Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris

2016 Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay

2012 Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay

2016 Ata Rangi Crimson

Ata Rangi Crimson (vintage TBC)

2014 Ata Rangi  McCrone Vineyard Pinot Noir

2013 Ata Rangi  McCrone Vineyard Pinot Noir

2015 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir

2010 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir

2008 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir

2014 Ata Rangi Célèbre