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“Outstanding wines, but condescending”

Ata Rangi Martinborough
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Ata Rangi, meaning "dawn sky" or "new beginning" is a small New Zealand winery with a big reputation for serious Pinot Noir. Located at the southern end of the North Island, it is owned and managed by a family trio - Clive Paton, his wife Phyll and his sister Alison - with star winemaker Helen Masters and Vineyard Manager Gerry Rotman. Ata Rangi is well established in 25 international markets and has an enviable reputation as one of the New World's most respected Pinot Noir producers."...the long-serving, dedicated team behind Ata Rangi just go from strength to strength. Their Pinots have always been great and yet, even in a world where the Pinot benchmark gets higher every year, Ata Rangi is better than ever." Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, April 2013
Reviewed 11 April 2013

We came to a tasting here in February. When we arrived the lady running the tasting was already holding a tasting with three others, but broke off to start a tasting with us. The others had arrived by horse drawn carriage whereas we arrived by bicycle. She spent very little time with us rather other than to break off to pour us some wine and never engaged us in conversation, nor did she widen the conversation to include us. After a while she made the pejorative comment "do you know what you are tasting".

We were both a bit shocked at this as we have both obtained distinctions at a number of the WSET exams to a moderately high level and have tasting wine for years.

Her attitude was rude and arrogant. This is a shame as the attitude didn't do the wines justice, as they are truly excellent. If you can't beat the French - join them!

Thank TravelNutBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ata_Rangi, Owner at Ata Rangi Martinborough, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2013

Hi there,

Apologies for the late response. We’ve only just joined TripAdvisor.

We pride ourselves on our friendly service and the family-style approach we take of welcoming everyone near and far like we’ve known them for years. Clearly that wasn’t your experience on the day and we’re sorry for that as well as disappointed in ourselves.

Perhaps the person involved was having an off-day, or started off on the wrong foot with you, interpretation of your needs then misread, and it went downhill from there.

Some people want to chat a lot, learn a lot, and others like to keep their experience more amongst their group and not involve us that much. We appreciate and try to cater for all ends of that spectrum, check what people want to hear or know and gauge their level of wine experience so we can provide the service they would like. Seems to us that asking you about what you were tasting was part of that, but clearly not couched best to come across as intended.

No excuses at all here; your experience was well below the bar we set for every encounter with everyone being excellent, 362 days a year (we’re closed on three :) )

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (57)
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"pinot noir"
in 15 reviews
"tasting room"
in 7 reviews
"cellar door"
in 12 reviews
"excellent wine"
in 3 reviews
"new zealand"
in 4 reviews
"nice cellar"
in 2 reviews
"wine tasting"
in 6 reviews
"tasting fee"
in 2 reviews
"friendly staff"
in 2 reviews
"crimson"
in 4 reviews
"winery"
in 11 reviews
"host"
in 5 reviews
"bottle"
in 7 reviews
"blend"
in 3 reviews
"enthusiasts"
in 2 reviews
"reputation"
in 2 reviews
"impersonal"
in 2 reviews
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38 - 42 of 57 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2013

The Crimson Pinot Noir is a fantastic red, and well priced. There is a more expensive Pinot Noir for sale at Ata Rangi, but it wasn't as nice.

The cellar door was busy and service was average. You can pick up the Crimson Pinot Noir in town at the shops.

Thank jetlagwoofer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2013

We had high expectations for this winery. Unfortunately, the woman who served us was hostile and pretentious. She seemed to be exhausting every bit of wine knowledge she had on us, and made us feel very uncomfortable. When we arrived the staff were having a good gossip about the last customers - which felt extremely unprofessional. Charging for a tasting is fine with me IF the service is good. The tasting room was small and poky and we didn't end up buying a thing. Disappointing all round really.

Thank Smarty18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ata_Rangi, Owner at Ata Rangi Martinborough, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2013

Hi there,

Apologies for the late response. We’ve only just joined TripAdvisor.

We respect that some people know a lot about wine, others don’t. And some want to hear lots about it, and others just want to try some wine. Our job is to gauge that accurately and respond accordingly. A complete ‘fail’ in your case.

Usually, we’re known as genuine, down-to-earth people who take a huge interest in meeting strangers as new friends and learning about them. It’s just who we are and have always been. The team is gobsmacked to hear about your experience and quite upset as a result.

But, however inexplicable to us, that was how you found it - so we’ll take it on the chin, and offer our sincere apologies.

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Reviewed 9 January 2013

This is a charming little winery; their tasting room is in an old tin shed! We tasted 5 wines when we were there and most of them were great. Staff is very knowledgeable and helpful!

Thank Cheryl810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 January 2013

Heard a lot of hype but for casual wine drinkers I couldn't appreciate this. Tasting area is small, costs $5, tasting pours were small, and on busy days its crowded and slow. I just drink wine casually so perhaps those into it more would appreciate it better. I've been to quite a few wineries and found this average based on other experiences. Still bought a couple of bottles though.

Thank Countfrank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ata_Rangi, Owner at Ata Rangi Martinborough, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2013

Hi there,

Apologies for the late response. We’ve only just joined TripAdvisor. Thought we’d at least catch up with responses to reviews posted for this year.

Very sorry you didn’t find us meeting your expectations. Yes, our tasting area is small – our original winery building, in fact – we’re just a bunch of hard-working Kiwis passionate about making world class wine and don’t have some of the flashier things of others. And we can get busier than we plan for some days.

Still, we’re not very happy to hear what you thought about your visit, so sorry about that. Well, at least you bought some wine (thank you!) which hopefully has been a much better experience, or still full of future promise in a cellar!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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