Paul Mason to join Nga Waka as Head Winemaker


Nga Waka Winery is thrilled to announce the appointment of Paul Mason as their new winemaker. Paul will join the Nga Waka team in November to take over from current winemaker Roger Parkinson, who will retire at the end of the year after an impressive 32 vintages.

Paul is currently head winemaker at Martinborough Vineyard, and during his 20 year tenure has built an enviable reputation as an outstanding winemaker, winning many awards and accolades.

Paul started in the wine industry after studying science at Auckland University and then winemaking at Lincoln University. He has worked vintages in New Zealand at Coopers Creek, de Redcliffe and Villa Maria and harvests in France, Italy, Chile, Australia and the US. He came to Martinborough in 2004 and in 2007 was appointed winemaker at Martinborough Vineyard, following in the steps of Claire Mulholland (Burn Cottage) and Pinot Noir pioneer Larry McKenna. His in-depth understanding of Martinborough and passion for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay makes him particularly well-suited to Nga Waka, with these varieties making up 90% of their production.

Roger Parkinson’s retirement is bitter sweet, having made every Nga Waka wine since their first vintage in 1993. As a pioneer of the Martinborough wine industry his retirement after 32 vintages will leave an incredible legacy both at Nga Waka, and also more widely across the region.

“When Roger announced his retirement, my first thought was how on earth would we find someone with the same depth of knowledge, passion and winemaking experience in Martinborough. But when we met with Paul about the role, we knew instantly that he was the right person to continue the story of Nga Waka, and expand on Roger’s legacy. We couldn’t be more delighted.” said Nga Waka owner Jay Short.

“I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that Roger and his wife Carol have put into Nga Waka and the wider Wairarapa wine industry over the past 30 years,” continued Jay.  “Roger has made some exceptional Pinot Noirs and set the benchmark for Chardonnay in Martinborough. I wish Roger all the best in his well-earned retirement.”

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