Location: Waipara Valley
The Donaldson family have been seriously involved in wine since the early 1970s and were pioneers of local grape growing and wine making. Associate Professor and Consultant Neurologist, Ivan Donaldson was also a wine writer and wine judge. He oversees viticulture and wine styles. His wife Christine is still involved in the business though directs most of her energy into maintaining the winery's extensive grounds. She is a passionate opera lover and has been heavily involved with Opera in Canterbury for many years. She has organised a number of operatic concerts at the winery’s natural amphitheatre. A reserve range of wines have been dedicated to Christine’s passion for opera.
Their eldest son, Matthew, graduated with an oenology degree and a postgraduate diploma in viticulture at Roseworthy College in Australia. He and his wife Lynnette Hudson, who graduated with distinction from Lincoln University with a postgraduate diploma in oenology and viticulture, are the winemakers. Both have worked many vintages in other parts of the world, with a particular focus on Burgundy.
Another son, Edward Donaldson, is Marketing Manager and his wife Belinda supervises the Pegasus Bay Winery Restaurant. Paul Donaldson, the youngest son, has an MBA degree and works as General Manager for the company. Pegasus Bay is an entirely family-owned and operated enterprise.
Wine Making philosophy: the aim of Pegasus Bay is to grow grapes of the highest quality which fully express the features of the vineyard, and to handle these with the utmost respect. Natural methods and as little intervention as possible at all stages from vine to bottle typify their approach. They believe in sustainable viticultural management, organic techniques, low crop levels, minimal handling of fruit during processing and gentle pressing. They allow wines to go through natural malolactic fermentation and clarify by settling. Their red wines are bottled without filtration. They aspire to capture the unique flavours of the vineyard in their wine.