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The Porters vineyard was a bare and stony paddock, until planted in vines by Annabel & John Porter in 1992. We made our first vintage in 1995. Our vineyard is on Kitchener Street, the main road into Martinborough. The first vineyard was just five acres, growing Pinot Noir and a little Pinot Gris.

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Then, a few years ago, we purchased another five acres of Pinot Noir on the vineyard next door to our house at 47 Kitchener Street.

It is behind this house that we converted the one hundred year old barn and stables into our winery – which was completed just in time for our vintage in 2000.

The vineyards are very much a hands-on operation, and we adopt organic principles and practices wherever possible. Vine prunings are either burnt or mulched back into the soil, the pips and skins from the pressed grapes are composted and used as mulch, and sprays are kept to the bare minimum. Even our packaging is designed to be used as a permanent cellar boxes or recycled.

Yields are low. Our emphasis is on producing grapes of the best quality every vintage. Our winemaking methods are gentle, resulting in wines which truly reflect the terroir and vintage conditions.

Great wine, after all, is made in the vineyard.

Our original vines are more than twenty years old now – and the richness and texture that can only come from older vines is very much in evidence.

Our wines are now served not only in the top restaurants in Wellington (such as Logan Brown, The White House, Boulcott Street Bistro, Charlie Nobles) but also in top Auckland restaurants, and throughout the country. We also export our Pinot Noir to the London wine trade, and other places overseas.

For us to have been able to create all this from a bare stony paddock and to raise our children in Martinborough – is reward in itself.

We hope you enjoy our wines as much as we enjoy producing them.


Bright, rose petal colour and hue. Quite bright in the glass, with none of that extruded bottled black Doris plum colour. The bouquet, at this stage, ever so slightly closed, tells you this wine requires a modest decanter and aeration prior to consuming. I would say about half an hour would be ideal. Typical Porter Estate aromas: a floral, cherry and earthy complexity. That “French” type complexity we love as it harmonises beautifully with game and cheese. There is a redcurrant, cherry and petal delicacy about the nose and over a period of time, new flavours and smells begin to emerge. At this stage, the palate is a good reflection of the nose, there are no unpleasant surprises. The initial mouthfeel is an “Oh My” moment, the supple, smooth entry belies the palates firm and focal end. The tannins add a subtle framework, and the acid adds tightness. This is exactly what a young Pinot should be –pleasant now, but will reward the purchaser after several years of cellaring, in which it will gradually become more integrated than it currently is. One can see the flavours, tannins and acid there, but like teenagers at a school ball, they are nervous and shy, awaiting for the right song and intestinal fortitude in order to meet up for a wonderful harmonious sway and gentle touch. It’s an eager wine, keen but slightly shy currently. Lovely, elegant finish. In brief: A young, supple Pinot – full of typical Porters characters – Cherries, currants, floral notes, that underlying earthy French like tone. The great Martinborough tannins – supple and structural – and that slight touch of acid to provide focus on the back. pH 3.56, TA 6.2g, Alcohol 13.5%, Screwcap, RRP $45

2014 Pinot Gris

Poised, elegant style of Pinot gris

2012 Pinot Noir

This wine is rich and delicious — a fine example of a Martinborough Pinot Noir.

The latest from our blog - stay up to date with new developments & updates from the vineyard.

Pre Harvest thoughts on 2016

It has been a dry start to the year. The Wairarapa is full of manila folder coloured paddocks interlaced with the dark green foliage of well-established trees marching down fence lines. February and March are when wineries start to clean out the empty tanks and wipe down the press, preparing for the month ahead when it’s all hands to the pump and plunger.

At Porters we take this time to polish the 2014 Pinots and make a plan for the 2015’s. Both have lush, complex fruit notes which are hallmarks of the House block. This younger block is comprised of clone 115 and Abel. It has developed markedly in the past 8+  years from a simplistic, floral expression to a more deep, rounded and rich character. We are very interested to see where this goes over the next decade. Martinborough Pinot Noirs are about tannin and structure married to cherries and violet aromas, and this young block has started to demonstrate its potential to display these characters and much more.

In the meantime, Martinborough has enjoyed a glorious summer. It appears to me anyway that many more tourists have enjoyed all that Marty has to offer. There is a real buzz around town – particularly those who come across from Wellington to experience a weekend of pleasure and rest. One of my favourite things to do is catch up with good friends at Cool Change on the square, with a refreshing end of work Pilsner. I hope to see you there.

Porters Pinot – Short Documentary

A short documentary about John Porter and Porters Pinot originally made as a Film School project.

Porters ‘Reserve’ Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009

Recent review from Raymond Chan Wine Reviews.

Although Porters Pinot is one of the smallest commercial Martinborough wine producers, it is an enduring one, now in its 22nd year. Proprietor John Porter is a hands-on winegrower and winemaker, when not at his legal firm in Wellington, and he has developed a more elegant and ethereal style of Pinot Noir that suits his 6.4 ha of vines. Those who appreciate the likes of Volnay and Chambolle-Musigny will be in a good position to understand the Porters Pinot which is markedly different to most from the district. In 2009, John made his first ‘Reserve’ Pinot Noir, much bigger than what is normally made, the wine reflecting the vintage (click here to see my review). In the cooler 2012 vintage, John made his second ‘Reserve’ wine, and this is a wine of “elegance rather than brute force” according to him, the wine more his ‘house style’. While so, I find it has real depth and concentration. Here is my review of the wine.


Even, garnet-red colour, with pale brick-orange hues on rim. This has an elegantly proportioned, intense nose with concentrated red berry fruits intricately interwoven with aromas of herbs, mineral and earth. With aeration an intriguing array of complex, savoury meat, spice, oak and cedar aromatics unfold, the bouquet growing in depth. Medium-full bodied, a tightly packed core of savoury and spicy red berry fruits is the feature, showing with richness and sweetness. Layers of earth, game, spices, meat and cedar unfold providing great interest and detail. The fruit is supported by fine-grained tannins and fresh, lacy acidity. The mouthfeel is elegant, but concentrated, with real vitality, freshness and energy, and the wine carries through to a very long, lingering finish of red fruits, spices and game. This is an elegantly concentrated, complex and detailed Pinot Noir with a full and lively array of savoury red fruit, spices, game and cedar. Serve with casseroles, duck and lamb dishes over the next 6-7+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the older vines, nearly 20 y.o., clones 10/5, Abel and some 5, fully destemmed and 85% indigenous yeast fermented to 13.8% alc., the wine spending 20 days on skins and aged 9 months in 30% new Francois Freres oak. 18.5/20 Jul 2014 RRP $75.00


Winemaker’s Loft

When we renovated our 100 year old barn to create our winery, we created a luxury modern double apartment in the loft. Complete with the original matai flooring and dormer windows, its french doors open onto a balcony with panoramic views of neighbouring vineyards.

porters pinot

The Winemaker’s Loft is a few minutes walk from Martinborough village square with its shops, galleries, wine merchants and exclusive restaurants. Many vineyards are also within easy walking distance.

  • One double bedroom/living room with french doors opening onto balcony
  • All linen and towels provided
  • Kitchenette with fridge, toaster and kettle
  • Bathroom with large powerful shower
  • Basic breakfast provisions provided
  • Rates - $190 for one night, $160 for 2+ nights



RIMG0060_20Want to sample accommodation with a different atmosphere? How about in a converted 100-year-old barn that’s been renovated and now features a self-contained loft apartment that overlooks a vineyard. It’s a very rural setting. You’ll find wild pigs, Pekin ducks and rabbits in abundance at the Old Barn winery, which is home to the Porters Pinot operation of John Porter and Annabel Clayton. When the couple renovated the barn to create their winery, which produces a top-notch 2004 pinot, they built a luxury modern double apartment with the original matai flooring and dormer windows. The French doors open on to a balcony with panoramic views. Best of all, The Winemaker’s Loft is just a few minutes’ walk from Martinborough village square with its shops, galleries, wine merchants and restaurants. Many vineyards are also within easy walking distance. Guests will find all linen and towels provided, a kitchenette with fridge, toaster and kettle, bathroom with power shower… Wayne Dobbin - Winestate May/June 2006

Pruners Cottage



This is a very simple option for overnight stay with a double bed & bathroom. No cooking facilities – apart from tea & coffee… and wine of course! A very popular option for budget minded travellers, who want to sleep within a few meters of our vineyard! In a quiet & cosy setting just minutes from Martinborough Square.


$100 per couple per night.

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Contact: Jackie or Tanya
Martinborough Reservation Services
Tel: +64 6 379 9219
Mobile: 027 679 3040
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Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

Porters Martinborough Pinot Gris 2014

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington
Review Date - 24-Sep-2014


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with a hint of gold and a suggestion of blush, lighter on rim. The nose is full and softly concentrated with restrained aromas of white and yellow stonefruits, savoury honeysuckle, nuts and lifted florals. The aromatic detail unfolds in delicate layers revealing a core with depth and presence. Dry to taste, the fruit expression is somewhat shy, showing ripe white and yellow stonefruits with nuances of honey and minerals. This has richness and presence on palate, and the soft and rounded textures contribute to positive vinosity and drive. A fine phenolic line underscores the fruit and extract, carrying the win to a soft, lingering finish with savoury stonefruit and honied nuances. This is a subtly flavoured dry and savoury Pinot Gris with depth, intensity and vinous presence. Match with most white meat courses over the next 3-4+ years. Estate fruit from 20 y.o. ungrafted vines, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.4% alc. and 6.1 g/L RS, the wine undergoing batonnage. 17.5/20 Sep 2014 RRP $30.00 


Porters Martinborough Pinot Gris 2013

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington
Review Date - 06-Dec-2013


Soft, pale straw-yellow colour with a little blush, pale on rim. The nose is fresh and firm with well-packed aromas of white and yellow stonefruits and apricot kernels, revealing delicate honeysuckle, spice and floral nuances. Dryish to taste, restrained flavours of stonefruit kernels, yellow florals and honeysuckle show with an earthy, flinty note. The mouthfeel is dry and textural with the light sweetness and discreet acidity providing the balance to avoid austerity. The flavours blossom on the finish. This is a tight, dry-textured European Pinot Grigio styled wine that will match seafood and poultry over the next 3-4 years. Pinot Gris fruit from the ‘Old Block’ from 20 y.o. vines, fermented in stainless-steel to 13.1% alc. and 5.8 g/L RS, the wine undergoing batonnage. 180 cases made. 17.0+/20 Dec 2013 RRP $30.00 


Porters Martinborough Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington
Review Date - 06-Dec-2013


Pinot Noir fruit from the ‘Old’ and ‘House’ blocks from vines up to 20 y.o., fully destemmed, given a cold soak and fermented to 13.8% alc., the wine spending 21 days on skins and aged 11 months in 30% new French oak barrels. Bright, moderately deep ruby-red with light garnet hues on rim. This has a delicate and fragrant, tightly bound bouquet of soft red berry fruits and red florals along with a spicy, nutty oak background. Medium-full bodied with plenty of vinous presence, the fruit flavours of cherries and soft red fruits are light in presentation and lifted by floral elements. A savoury, nuttiness underlines the fruitiness. The palate features a very fine, textured mouthfeel with powdery tannins and a smooth flowing linearity, driven a little by the alcohol, leading to a firm, sustained finish. This is an elegant, tight and finely structured Pinot Noir with subtle red fruit flavours. Match with tuna, salmon, rabbit and duck over the next 4-5+ years. Approx. 800 cases made. 17.5-/20 Dec 2013 RRP $45.00 


Porters ‘Reserve’ Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington
Review Date - 25-Jan-2012


Moderately deep, dark ruby-red colour with a light purple-garnet edge. This has a full, voluminous nose with lifted aromatics of savoury, ripe dark, berry and cherry fruit with hints of raspberry liqueur, dried herbs, oak spices and cedar. Medium-full bodied, lifted fruit flavours of ripe, dark red berry fruit interwoven with brown spices, savoury mushrooms and cedar show with sweetness, lusciousness and succulence. Supple, fine-grained, but serious tannins underline the palate with elevated and lively acidity providing drive and length. The finish has layers of ethereal florals and oak spices that linger. Fruit from 15 y.o. vines from the ‘Old Block’ fully destemmed, with the fermentation initiated by indigenous yeasts, temperatures allowed to 34°C, the wine spending 26 days on skins. The resultant wine, at 13.5% alc., was matured 11 months in one-third new French oak. This ‘Reserve’ bottling is a selection of 5 barrels from 28 made in 2009. A complex, lifted and savoury Pinot Noir combining layers of fruit and oak spices. This will match Middle Eastern and Asian duck and pork dishes over the next 5-7+ years. 17.5+/20 Jan 2012 RRP $TBA 


Porters ‘Reserve’ ‘Cuvee Zoe’ Methode Traditionnelle Blanc de Noirs 2012

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington
Review Date - 24-Sep-2014


Bright straw-yellow with a faint blush, pale on rim. The bead is fine and moderately persistent. This has a gently voluminous bouquet with deep aromas of fresh yellow stonefruits and a suggestion of red fruits, along with delicate nuances of nuts, toast and yeast lees in the background. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate features a firm, dense and concentrated core with grainy phenolic textures encasing a subtle amalgam of yellow stonefruits, yeast lees, hints of toast and savoury nutty elements. The mouthfeel is lively with brisk acidity and bold in mouthfeel, still unsettled and yet to integrate. Flavours of lees work, nuts and stonefruits unfold and blossom with interest on the racy, mouthwatering finish. Shy on nose, this is a dry, crisp, grainy-textured method traditionnelle with a firm core and complex nuances. It will come together and drink well over the next 4+ years. Serve with antipasto, poultry and pork. 85% Pinot Noir from 20 y.o. estate vines and 15% Martinborough Chardonnay fermented in tank and finished in seasoned French oak to 13.0% alc. and 4 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees until October 2013. The wine was triaged early 2014 and disgorged in July 2014. 17.0+/20 Sep 2014 RRP $60.00 


Porters Martinborough Pinot Gris 2012

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington
Review Date - 01-Nov-2012


Bright, pale straw colour with slight green hues. The bouquet is soft and gently full with aromas of pears and white stonefruits lifted with florals and nuances of honeysuckle, revealing flinty and minerally detail. Medium-bodied and dryish to taste, soft textures and a smooth mouthfeel feature on the palate, allowing the subtle flavours of stonefruit and honeysuckle to flow seamlessly. This is well-balanced and harmonious, with discreet acidity and an underlying alcohol drive and line that leads to a light-fruited, dry finish. This is a dryish, soft-textured and harmonious Pinot Gris with gentle pear and stonefruit flavours. Serve with Asian cuisine over the next 3-4 years. Pinot Gris fruit hand-picked, WBP and fermented to 13.5% alc. and 6 g/L rs, the wine undergoing batonnage. 17.5/20 Nov 2012 RRP $25.00

Porters Martinborough Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington
Review Date - 01-Nov-2012


Bright, light ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on rim. The nose is elegantly proportioned and shows good intensity and concentration of fresh, firm, dark red berry fruit aromas along with mineral and dark herb notes and a hint of reduction. Medium-bodied, the flavours are an amalgam of red berries, aromatic spices and red florals, enlivened by fine, lacy and racy acidity. Very fine-grained tannins provide a firm line, concentrated core and flowing mouthfeel supporting the fruit. The flavours are carried by the crisp acidity to a long and sustained finish featuring oak-spiced red fruits. This is an elegant and slender Pinot Noir with a fine-textured, firm and racy mouthfeel. It will develop soft aromatic nuances over the next 4-5+ years. Serve with tuna, salmon and poultry. Hand-picked fruit fully destemmed and given a cold soak, fermented to 13.5% alc., 20% by indigenous yeasts, the wine spending 15-18 days on skins and aged 11 months in French oak, approx. 15% new. 17.5/20 Nov 2012 RRP $35.00

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Where can you find us?

Our wines are now served not only in the top restaurants in Wellington (including: Logan Brown, The White House, Boulcott Street Bistro, Beaujolais, Zibibo) but also in top Auckland restaurants and throughout the country. We also export our Pinot Noir to the London wine trade, and other places overseas.


Porters Pinot (New Zealand)

648 Homewood Road,
Masterton, RD 12,
New Zealand.

Contact: Annabel or John Porter
Telephone: +64 6 372 3717
Fax: +64 6 372 3718
Web site:

red+white cellar (Auckland, New Zealand)

P.O. Box 1316
Shortland Street
Auckland 1140

Telephone: +64 9 376 0760
Fax: +64 9 376 0761

Akkerman Rare Wines (Australia)

P.O box 654
Forster, NSW 2428

Contact: Dr. Klaas Akkerman
Telephone: +61 2 6555 8178

The New Zealand Wine Cellar (United Kingdom)

Pop Brixton,
49 Brixton Station Road,
United Kingdom,

Telephone: 020 3662 7000
Web site:

Linsoni Inc (USA)

290 NE 51 St
Fort Lauderdale
FL 33334

Telephone: +1 954 772 1800
Contact: Don Lampasone

Frederick Wildman & Sons Ltd (USA)

307 East 53rd Street
New York,
NY 10022

Telephone: +1 212 355 0700 or 800-RED WINE
Fax: +1 212 355 4719
Web site:

648 Homewood Road, RD 12, Masterton, New Zealand
Tel: +64 6 372 3717
Fax: +64 6 372 3718

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