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Pegasus Bay

Christchurch Associate Professor and Consultant Neurologist, Ivan Donaldson, first became interested in wine in the mid 1970's when Christine, his girlfriend, gave him a book with a title that would turn out to be prophetic – it was simply called “Wine”! Completely inspired by Hugh Johnson's book, Ivan explored the wine regions of Europe and returned home to New Zealand to plant a small vineyard and marry Christine. Ivan's winemaking started of as a hobby in his garage at the weekends in-between seeing private patients and shifts at the public hospital. In 1984 the Donaldson's decided to make the leap from a hobby to a proper enterprise, and started looking for a piece of land on a warmer sight to plant vines. They thought that Canterbury had a bright future in the wine world and pioneered the region planting Pegasus Bay the following year on a former sheep farm. They are located in the Waipara Valley of North Canterbury where the Teviottdale Range of coastal hills provides protection from the Pacific's easterly winds, and warm days, cool nights and dry autumns culminate in a prolonged ripening period creating grapes with intense flavours and good natural acidity. They named their winery after the large bay that runs from the Christchurch suburbs to the mouth of the Waipara River. The vineyard was established with the help of Christine and Ivan's four sons, who now all work in the family business. Matthew is the Roseworthy trained winemaker, Edward Marketing Manager, Michael Local Sales Manager and Paul the winery's General Manager; it is a real family affair. Pegasus Bay are passionate about the environment. They are members of Sustainable Winegrowers New Zealand, supporters of the Greening Waipara Valley project and manage their vineyards as naturally as possible. They believe in a minimal approach to winemaking, allowing their wines to go through natural malolactic fermentation and clarification by settling, without the use of fining agents. The Pegasus Bay wines are made from estate grown fruit and the names of the Reserve range reflect Christine's passion for opera. The Main Divide is the local name for the Southern Alps which form the backbone of the South Island of New Zealand. The name and logo of this range reflect the location and uniqueness of these regionally distinct wines where the Donaldson family work with growers in North Canterbury, selecting vineyards chosen for their singular terroir and the quality of their fruit to handcraft distinctive, vibrant fruit-driven wines, which retain the individual regional and varietal character of the fruit. Pegasus Bay are known for their Pinot Noir and Riesling, which are their flagship varieties, but their entire portfolio is stunning - when you see the instantly recognisable winged horse logo, you know you are getting a seriously good wine from one of New Zealand's top producers.