Stories and Latest Releases

Mini Deli & Cellar Door

Relax with the Mini Deli

With the days once again drawing in, the prospect of a cosy fireside nook in our Mini Deli has never been more inviting. With options to relax both upstairs and down, why not call by for a wine tasting then recline in one of our chesterfield sofas with some artisan nibbles and a glass of your favourite winter warmer.

Pegasus Bay Mini Deli

Thursday to Monday
10.30am - 4.30pm

No bookings. Max group size 10.
For full list of produce visit

Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Pegasus Bay Cellar Door

Thursday to Monday
10.00am - 5.00pm
Max group size 10. Bookings advised. 

 Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Good things take time

Aged Release 2013

At Pegasus Bay we’re not in a rush to release our wines, in fact they are designed to age, and we intentionally hold back newly bottled stock for several years to allow it to integrate.

In some cases, we keep hold of it for almost 10 years, as is the case with our aged release wines.

This programme has been running since 2006, where each year we’ve set aside a small amount of our Pinot Noir and Estate Riesling, with the intention of re-releasing it 10 years from the harvest date. This year sees the return of our 2013’s, which we are particularly excited about.
2013 was a fantastic season, hot and drawn out, resulting in a set of beautifully balanced and full favoured wines, which include a Prima Donna. Stocks are limited so get in quick!

How was Harvest 23?

Our 2023 vintage growing season was dominated by a La Niña weather pattern which brought more cooling easterly winds and fewer scorching Norwest gales.

Spring started with below average temperatures, however recovered in time for flowering, resulting in healthy crop levels.

Summer came in fits and starts, a stint of 30+ degree days in late January sandwiched between cooler spells.

Autumn then thew up a mix of sunny days, followed by frequent southerlies, sending the mercury yo-yoing once again.

All of this meant our picking started a little later than usual, while we waited patiently for sugar levels to rise. Our vineyard team had to work diligently throughout the season, managing the fruit and canopy fastidiously, to ensure our precious crop ripened to desired levels.

Once the fruit began arriving at the winery, our posse of vintage gurus worked tirelessly, sorting, stomping, pumping, pressing, racking, and barrelling down. Some decisions to pick at short notice to avoid inclement weather kept everyone on their toes, but the mix of uplifting beats and heavy bass lines reverberating around the winery ensured spirits remained high.

As usual, La Niña (The Girl) brings her challenges but overall, we were delighted with the quality and ripeness levels of the fruit and believe there will be some excellent wines to come from our 2023 harvest.

We must be thankful to have a harvest at all, considering the trail of destruction that Cyclone Gabrielle left in parts of the North Island. Global warming or not, it’s heart-breaking to see a year’s hard work obliterated by a single swipe of mother nature’s hand and we want to extend heartfelt condolences to all our fellow vignerons affected by February’s catastrophic event.

Barrelling down Chardonnay from the 2023 harvest

What’s in a name?

Have you ever wondered why we adopted the moniker Pegasus Bay? Some of you may not know that Pegasus Bay is the vast coastal bight that stretches all the way from Banks Peninsula south of Christchurch to Gore Bay in the north, near Cheviot. Pegasus was the name of the ship that surveyed the region for many months in 1809, and corrected the notion that Banks Peninsula was an island, as assumed by Captain Cook and his botanist Banks, almost 40 years prior.

Pegasus Bay is in fact made up of many beautiful beaches and hidden gems. If you follow us on social media, you will have seen we have started featuring the various beaches with beautiful imagery by local photographer Lisa Sun. Here at Pegasus Bay winery, we have a strong connection with the land and local geography. It has helped shape who we are and is reflected in the wines that we craft, and we’re proud to be part of it.

Amberley BeachGore BayTaylors MistakeWaikuku Beach

The Prescription Pad

The Romans had a saying, “In Vino Veritas”, which translates “In Wine There Is Truth”, a sentiment I wholeheartedly endorse. That ancient Roman word for wine, “vino”, persists in modern Italian and it is the derivation of “wine” in English, “vin” in French and similar names in other European languages. It is also the root of many related words, such as “vine, vigneron, vinting, viticulture and vintage”.

The vintage of a wine is determined by the year the grapes are picked but its quality depends on multiple things that have occurred from the time the buds started to swell during the previous spring until harvest in the autumn. The viticulturist will have spent anxious days over flowering and fruit set, which is very weather dependent, and sleepless nights during the frost season but the weeks leading up to and during harvest are equally vital.

Cold wet weather at this stage can ruin what would otherwise have been a good or great vintage by slowing ripening and spoiling the fruit. The weather during vintage defines the vintage in many wine lovers’ eyes. There, I’ve used the word “vintage” in two different ways, firstly to define the period of harvesting and secondly to refer to the wine(s) of that year. The difference between a full, fruity, succulent, delicious wine and a thin, watery, sharp, acidic one may be autumn rain.

Cool climate viticultural regions, like New Zealand are more susceptible to vintage variation than hot countries, whose wines are more consistent but less exciting. Not surprisingly, wines from more prestigious European cool climate areas vary widely in price, depending on the vintage.

But the term vintage has come to have implications and meanings of its own, suggesting something old, classic, classy and valuable, and is applied to everything from cars to crockery and beyond. Even just being able to apply the word to wine adds value. In some cold viticultural areas, such as Champagne, the wine from some vintages is too thin and sharp to bottle alone and must be blended with that from warmer years. In fact, most champagne is non-vintage.

The same applies to Port wine and only some years are good enough to “declare a vintage”, the majority is sold as non-vintage blends. Single vintage wines are seen as more prestigious and command a higher price, sometimes astronomical! Whether they are worth this premium is debatable. I have judged in international wine competitions in which the non-vintage versions have trumped the “deluxe vintage” wines of the same producer. It proves the point, despite all the image, some blends are better!

In fact, the production regulations of some famous wines dictate that they are blends of vintages, Sherry, being one such. It is made by the Solera System, which consists of layers of barrels stacked one on top of the other, each layer being of a different year. Wine for bottling is a blend from the bottom barrels. Each layer is topped up from the one immediately above. Sherry’s popularity and price has decreased over the years, due in part to lack of a deluxe vintage image.

There are a couple of wines in this newsletter which are non-vintage, Vergence White Mark 2 and Fortissimo. As normal, our aim was to produce the best wine possible, and this was achieved without the constraints of vintage. They’re both delicious, but don’t just take my word for it, try them and I’m sure you will agree.


Hayden Zervous leading the half marathonChristine cheering on the finish line

After our cancelled 2021 event, it was fantastic to welcome record numbers for Vine Run 2023 on 29th January. Over 750 runners and walkers enjoyed the day in support of NZ Brain Research. It was also the first time that a half marathon distance has been included, with 160 intrepid runners braving the challenging hilly terrain and toasty temperatures. Local lad Hayden Zervos was our overall winner and laid down the gauntlet with a scintillating time of 1:25.

Whether you’re an experienced runner or new to the sport, why not set yourself a challenge and sign up for Vine Run 2024.



All bottles 750ml unless otherwise stated


A stunning season, with a hot settled summer and dry lingering autumn. Made in the traditional style of a white Bordeaux using approx. 70% tank fermented sauvignon blanc and 30% barrel fermented semillon, the latter adding richness, texture and length.

Concentrated with loads of personality ... savoury notes adding complexity.
Michael Cooper,

95/100 Complex and attractive ... a delicious textured wine.
Cameron Douglas MS,, NZ


Made in an off-dry style, our house Riesling is fermented at low temperatures to retain zesty aromas and flavours and then bottled with a little naturally dissolved CO2 to give a hint of spritzig and tangy freshness.

19/20 This complex, heavy-weight Riesling is packed with flavours and concentration.
Candice Chow,

95/100 Sweetness is nicely balanced by tangy acidity giving the wine an exquisite tension.
Bob Campbell MW,, AUS

RIESLING 2013  'Aged Release'

Riesling lovers rejoice! Our latest aged release is a thing of beauty. Channelling her inner Marilyn, the elegance and body will have you captivated.

95/100 Gorgeously maturing with fabulous complexity ... grilled mango, orange peel, honey and potpourri.
Sam Kim, Wine Orbit,

93/100 Wax and light caramel aromas … full bodied and very dense.
James Suckling Wine Reviews,, USA


1.5L Magnum

Rich and vibrant … gentle sweetness, mouth-watering acidity and a lasting, slightly honeyed finish.
Michael Cooper, New Zealand Listener Magazine


The lingering dry autumn of 2021 allowed us to leave the fruit on the vines until late in the season, where it developed some noble botrytis, resulting in a wine that is rich and unctuous, with intense varietal character.

This wine is so beautifully balanced, it’s like the liquid equivalent of a Simone Biles beam routine.
Yvonne Lorkin,, NZ

94/100 Wonderfully aromatic … opulent and plush with a prolonged, satisfying finish.
Sam Kim, Wine Orbit,


We have a tiny plot of muscat à petits grains, a variety that is used in Alsace and the Rhône Valley. Made in an off-dry style and hailing from one of our hottest summers on record, this aromatic and flavourful wine packs a serious punch.

18.5/20 An exquisite, concentrated, intensely aromatic wine.
Joelle Thomson,

93/100 Wonderful, intense aromatics of flowers and spice … nice lengthy finish.
Cameron Douglas MS,, NZ


750ml Club and 1.5L Magnum
Made from ultra-low cropping Mendoza clone, this concentrated Chardonnay has power and intensity. Following traditional Burgundian techniques, the juice was fermented with natural yeasts in French puncheons and aged on lees for 12 months.

An absolute Southern icon Chardonnay … beautifully balanced … its outstanding.
Yvonne Lorkin,, NZ

Strapping yet delicate … richly flavoured yet subtle. Full of personality.
Michael Cooper,


750ml and 1.5L Magnum
This was another stellar season for our Pinot’s. We use traditional Burgundian techniques, including natural primary and secondary fermentations. Over 40 individual batches from more than 10 different clones were fermented separately then aged in oak for 15 months to create the most complex yet harmonious wine possible.

18.5+/20 A Rich and dark toned Pinot Noir with earth, savoury elements, and a silky, fragranced palate.
Candice Chow,

94/100 Dense, meaty, and plummy … a divine mouth perfume clings to a persistent finish, calling you back for more.
Steve Leszczynski,, AUS

PINOT NOIR 2013  'Aged Release'

This beautifully balanced Pinot has been patiently maturing and is now ready to reveal its glory. A rare opportunity to experience the complexities of bottle age.

95/100 Superbly complex and sensuously appealing ... excellent weight and richness while remaining refined and stylish.
Sam Kim, Wine Orbit,

95/100 Full body with layered fruit and tannins, and a savoury finish.
James Suckling Wine Reviews,, USA

PINOT NOIR 2018 - New Release

3L Jeroboam

So exotic and saucy on the nose … finely tuned and minerally driven. I love it!
Yvonne Lorkin,, NZ

MERLOT CABERNET 2020 - New Release

This hot and drawn-out season was perfect for ripening our Bordeaux reds. Aged in oak for 18 months, the finished product is made up of predominately Merlot, with the remainder Cabernet Sauvignon, and a small amount of Cabernet Franc.

94/100 Core of fruit contrasted by polished tannins, medium + acidity and a lengthy, juicy finish. Lots to like about this wine.
Cameron Douglas MS,, NZ

94/100 I really like the flowers and red fruits that flow across the palate ... very classy.
James Suckling Wine Reviews,, USA


1.5L Magnum
2019 was also a fantastic season for the Bordeaux varieties in our vineyard. The final blend is similar to the 2020 mentioned above.

95/100 Seductively smooth textured … complex with good cellaring potential … clearly from a top vintage.
Bob Campbell MW,, AUS

CABERNET FRANC 2020 - New Release

This is only the second time we have featured this variety on its own. Like our 2018, the fruit from this season was so beautifully ripened, and the resulting wine so delicious, we decided a small amount of it deserved to be showcased separately.

94/100 Attractive Cabernet Franc with cherry and redcurrant aromas. Medium round tannins give it tension and form.
James Suckling Wine Reviews,, USA

VERGENCE WHITE Mk 2 - New Release

Most of you will know by now that Vergence is our non-traditional label where we enjoy pushing the boundaries of conventional winemaking. As with our MK1, the core of our White MK2 is barrel aged old vine Semillon, blended with Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay and a touch of aromatics. Once again this is a multi-vintage wine to realise its full potential. It has only just been released so we don’t yet have any reviews, but here are some cellar notes to help wet your whistle:

“Lime zest and orange blossom melded with touches of passionfruit, rock melon and guava, and snippets of vanilla and rose oil. The palate is multi layered, with a creamy mouthfeel and satisfying weight and texture”.


Our Red Mark 2 certainly pushes the boundaries. Made from our 2021 vintage, it comprises principally of Pinot Noir, but also includes a portion of Cabernet Sauvignon (approximately 15%) that was aged on skins for 200 days. If you like your Pinots at the fuller and more structured end of the spectrum, then this wine is not to be missed.

Deeply coloured, mouthfilling, sweet fruited and supple … long harmonious finish.
Michael Cooper, Winestate Magazine, AUS

All bottles 750ml unless otherwise stated


This version is a very different style to our Estate Riesling, and only possible to make in seasons that are favourable to botrytis, such as this one. The grapes have almost the same ripeness as those used for Aria, but their juice is fermented to dryness.

NZ Top 50 Wines One of the best in the country … a complex, full rich style with a touch of marmalade and a long, long finish.
The Wine Merchant Magazine, UK

5 stars Erupts with orange zest, honeysuckle, layers of lime and quartzy minerality resulting in a dry, lipsmacking finish.
Yvonne Lorkin,, NZ


1.5L Magnum Club Price
96/100 A rich, weighty, powerful wine with excellent flavour and concentration balanced by fresh acidity. Impressive.
Stephen Bennett MW / Lynette Hudson,


In favourable years that allow, the bunches are left on the vines until late in the season then hand- selected with around 50% noble botrytis. This adds extra flavour nuances and gives a mouth filling lusciousness, similar to Auslese wines of Germany.

95/100 Honey, exotic fruits, ginger anise, and spice … sweetness is perfectly balanced by crisp acidity.
Bob Campbell MW,, AUS

94/100 Fabulous aromas of honeysuckle and peach, limeflower and apple, quince and new fresh blossoms.
Cameron Douglas MS,, NZ


750ml and 1.5L Magnum
Following a sublime season in the vineyard, our winemaking team were able to work their magic and craft this rich and complex Chardonnay. A selection of the best barrels coming from some of the oldest plantings in the vineyard.

98/100 Ripe apple, smoke, flint and stone … richness of a Montrachet … dense and layered, yet fresh and vivid.
James Suckling Wine Reviews,, USA

19/20 Hedonistic and weighty structure … an outstanding Chardonnay from a great winemaking team.
Joelle Thomson,


750ml Club Price, 1.5L Magnum and 3L Jeroboam
We only produce Prima Donna Pinot Noir in exceptional years, such as this one. It is a blend of the barrels we feel best reflect the vintage and our unique terroir. It mainly comes from our oldest, lowest cropping vines that are non-grafted.

19/20 Refined yet powerful … good energy and vibrancy … fine grained tannins that will last for years to come.
Candice Chow,

96/100 A flagship wine with a reputation for aging well.
Bob Campbell MW,, AUS

PRIMA DONNA PINOT NOIR 2013  'Aged Release'

Our aged releases from the outstanding 2013 season were always going to be very special, and this one is the pinnacle. Limited stocks available so get in quick people!

97/100 Gracefully seductive and gloriously opulent ... a multi-layered palate exhibiting awesome depth as well as an expansive mouthfeel.
Sam Kim,

96/100 Full and layered with lots of fruit and firm yet round tannins. A wonderful release of a Pinot Noir with age.
James Suckling Wine Reviews,, USA


1.5L Magnum
Our 750ml size sold out in record time, but you still have a chance to try this 'heavyweight in our red’s division' in larger format. As usual, Maestro is a blend of the barrels of Merlot, Cabernet, and Malbec that we feel best reflect the vintage and our terroir.

5 stars A powerful, sturdy red ... weighty, rich and rounded
Michael Cooper,

95/100 Dangerously smooth, its silky presence oozes the prestige of the label it represents.
Steve Leszczynski,, AUS


Made in a similar way to Aria, however picked later so that all the bunches have fully developed botrytis. The autumn of 2017 proved favourable in this regard.

95/100 An exciting and delicious wine ... reminds me of juicy California peaches, honey and sherbert.
Cameron Douglas MS,, NZ

98/100 Impressive array of flavours, strength, and balance, leading to an incredibly moreish, pleasing finish.
Candice Chow,


Finale is a barrel fermented wine in the style of Sauternes and is only made in special years that are favourable to noble botrytis. As with Encore, we selected only the most beautifully botrytic bunches. The juice was then left to ferment naturally in French oak barriques and matured for 12 months.

5 stars Dangerously delicious dessert wine … toffee apple, candied citrus, dried mango and honeysuckle … outstanding.
Yvonne Lorkin, NZ

19/20 Stunning savoury complexity ... full-bodied with amazing depth and concentration and a long zesty finish.
Joelle Thomson,


This wine emulates the iconic French Muscat Beaumes de Venise. A small amount of neutral spirit is added to stop the fermentation and retain some of the late picked grape’s natural sugars. This release is a non-vintage wine, however as with our previous 2016, we have made only a tiny amount and it is solely available through our Cellar Door and Wine Club.

5 stars Weighty, with vibrant, concentrated flavours and a sweet, oily richness.
Michael Cooper, Winestate Magazine, AUS

95/100 Instantly appealing … wonderfully flavoursome palate.
Sam Kim,

The Truant from Medicine - Ivan M. Donaldson

How a young doctor established Pegasus Bay.  Ivan Donaldson's autobiography.
Proceeds to the NZ Brain Research Institute.


Download the Autumn / Winter  2023 → Newsletter


Pegasus Bay

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Licence Holder:Donaldson Family Limited T/A:Pegasus Bay Winery.
Licence no:57/OFF/458/2022 Exp:16/3/2025