Escarpment Vineyard was established in 1999 as a joint business venture between Robert & Mem Kirby (of Australia's Village Roadshow) and Larry & Sue McKenna in pursuit of their great love of Pinot Noir. Situated just 5 kilometres east of Martinborough village, Escarpment's 24 hectares of distinctive alluvial gravel, terraced land stretches out along the banks of the Huangarua River. Overlooking the vineyard are the Aorangi Ranges, the very hills made famous by Kupe the great Polynesian voyager who discovered New Zealand, according to Maori legend. Kupe left his three canoes, Nga Waka, on top of the range, giving rise to the now familiar landmark of the district, the three flat-topped hills on top of the range, which resemble unturned canoes. This warrior and his story provide the inspiration for the vineyard's distinctive brand and logo.