Empson USA Main Divide

Fact Sheet

Location: Waipara Valley, New Zealand

The Main Divide wines are produced by the Donaldson Family at Pegasus Bay winery in the Waipara Vally of North Canterbury. The fruit comes from local growers who can provide grapes that express unique regional and varietal characters. The Donaldson family work closely with these growers and have significant input into the vineyards? management.

Points of Differentiation

  • The wines are crafted with an emphasis on lively fruit flavors, complexity, and drinkability
  • Main Divide?s philosophy includes the use of sustainable viticultural management, organic techniques, low crop levels, minimal handling of fruit during processing and gentle pressing
  • Fruit sourced from the best growers in the region
  • Produced by the world-renown Donaldson Family
  • Named for the famous Southern Alps

The History

Founded in 1994, Main Divide is the second label offered by the Donaldson Family, which also produces Pegasus Bay. The winery is a tribute to the mountain range on New Zealand?s Southern Island known as the Southern Alps. Locally this range is called Main Divide, and it was the inspiration for the winery?s name and logo.

For the Donaldson Family, the aim is to produce wines which reflect the unspoiled freshness, purity, vigor, and cool climate of the south while retaining each wine?s individual regional and varietal character.

The basis for the Main Divide's philosophy is individuality and harmony. They wish to produce distinctive, vibrant wines with lively fruit flavors, which at the same time are integrated and harmonious.

The Terroir

Because of their unique terroir and the quality of the grapes produced, Main Divide limits their production area to a select handful of vineyards in North Canterbury.

The soils range from mineral-rich gravels to a mixture of clay and stone which provide the vines with good drainage.

The days tend to be warm with lots of sunshine and the nights are fresh and crisp. This microclimate encourages both proper ripening and the retention of balanced natural acid levels in the berries.

During the growing season, some leaves are removed from around the bunches to ensure proper exposure to sunlight, to help the grapes to ripen and to keep the fruit well-ventilated and healthy.