The Donaldson family have been seriously involved in wine since the early 1970’s and were pioneers of the North Canterbury region.
Ivan Donaldson, who had a long career as an Associate Professor and Consultant Neurologist, as well as being a wine writer and wine judge, oversees viticulture and wine styles. His wife Christine established the breath-taking gardens at Pegasus Bay and directs most of her energy on maintaining the winery’s extensive grounds. She is also a lover of opera and the arts and has been heavily involved in the local Opera scene for many years. The Donaldson family have hosted many classical concerts at the winery’s natural amphitheatre and a reserve range of wines have been dedicated to Christine’s passion for opera.
Their eldest son, Matthew is winemaker and graduated with an oenology degree and a postgraduate diploma in viticulture at Roseworthy College in Australia. He has worked many vintages in other parts of the world, with a particular focus on Burgundy. 2017 marked Matthew’s 25th vintage at Pegasus Bay. Matthew’s wife Di helps with winery logistics.
Another son, Edward is Marketing Manager who spends much of his time trotting the globe and promoting his family’s wines to more than 25 countries where Pegasus Bay is distributed, his wife Belinda directs the winery’s multi award winning restaurant.
The youngest son Paul, who has an MBA, is the winery’s General Manager, while another son Michael is the local sales manager.
Pegasus Bay is an entirely family-owned and operated enterprise.
Within the Waipara Valley Pegasus Bay vineyard gets maximum protection from the Pacific’s easterly breezes by being tucked up under the lee of the Teviotdale Range. Heat summation during the day is promoted by smooth stones and gravels left behind by an ice age glacier. The soil is free draining and of low fertility, resulting in naturally reduced vine vigour. This produces low yields of optimally ripened, high quality, flavourful grapes, which fully express the qualities of this unique setting. An unusually large vineyard staff allows operations such as shoot thinning, crop thinning, bunch exposure and fruit selection to be carried out meticulously.