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Complimentary end of year tastings!

After a turbulent year, 2022 looks set to close on a high. And here’s your chance to do it in style at our complimentary wine club tastings. Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to meet the family and sample all our latest releases. We’d love to see you there and as usual feel free to invite any others who may be interested.

All orders placed on the night for each city will go into 2 draws for a chance to win:

1st Draw
Magnum of Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir

2nd Draw
Magnum of Pegasus Bay Chardonnay


*AUCKLAND - New Venue
Tuesday 29th November 5-7pm
QT Auckland, Limani Room
4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Westhaven

Wednesday 30th November 5-7pm
QT Wellington, Tamburini Room
90 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington 

Thursday 8th December 5-7 pm
Miro Restaurant (upstairs)
176 Oxford Terrace
Central City, Christchurch

Mini Deli & Cellar Door

With the long-awaited return to post-Covid normality finally upon us, we’re delighted to announce that our Mini Deli and Cellar Door will be opening 5 days a week throughout summer, commencing Monday 14th November.

With its burgeoning selection of artisan goodies and variety of cosy nooks to relax around the winery and grounds, a lazy afternoon of grazing and tippling will hopefully be the only mandated event you’ll need this summer!

Looking for a festive pressie with a difference? Purchase one of our gift vouchers or select a range of deli products, add a bottle of something special and we’ll gift wrap these on your behalf.

Pegasus Bay Mini Deli

Thursday to Monday
10.30am - 4.30pm

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

Pegasus Bay Cellar Door

Thursday to Monday
10.00am - 5.00pm
No bookings. Max group size 10.

 Both closed Tuesday and Wednesdays

Green Goddess

We love spring at Pegasus Bay. It’s a magical time in the gardens with all the new season growth starting to emerge, buds and leaves slowly unfurling to showcase their beauty.

And there is no one more fiercely passionate about this space than the matriarch herself, Chris Donaldson. She has worked tirelessly over the last 35 years to transform the gardens from a bare piece of turf into a veritable wonderland.

It’s easy to lose yourself while exploring the myriad of plantings around the grounds, from the splendour of the rose and dahlia garden to the tranquillity of the rhododendron dell, and fascination of the unique conifer collection. Not one to ever sit still, Chris has been busy creating some brand-new eco zones, including a Laburnum walkway, Spring Garden, and Island Grotto.

So next time you’re passing, come for a stroll and say hi. More than likely, she’ll be found on the mower, or head down, diligently crafting away in her happy place.

 Chris showing off her newly constructed Laburnum walkway

Last Bay Boy finally takes the Plunge!

One might describe Pegasus Bay family member Mike Donaldson as a slow burner. Having spent almost 20 years living in Europe, he arrived back to NZ at the end of 2016 with his bachelor status firmly intact. That all changed during harvest 2022 however, when the irresistible charm of winery intern Nicky Vincent proved too much, and their blossoming friendship soon developed into something more.

Realising quickly that she was the lady he’d been waiting for, Mike wasted no time and popped the question over sunset and a glass of bubbles on a recent break in Fiji. Bravo!

Chris & Ivan, you can now finally relax!

Mike and Nicky basking in their newly engaged status 

Hospo Queen Bee

Belinda at the 2022 Canterbury Hospitality Awards

Another stalwart here at Pegasus Bay is our long-time hospitality manager Belinda Donaldson.

You can imagine then how chuffed we were to find out she was presented with a Supreme Individual Award at the recent 2022 Canterbury Hospitality Awards. The Award recognises someone who has helped shape the local hospitality community through their commitment to excellence and pioneering spirit and been an inspiration to others.

We can’t think of a more worthy candidate and salute you Belinda for all your efforts.

Running for the Brain

After Covid spoiled the party at this year’s event, we’re pumped to bring you Vine Run 2023. It’s time to dust off those runners and set yourself a NY’s challenge.

With 3 courses to choose from, 6km, 10km and an all new 21km, there really is something for everyone. Walk or run your way around the picturesque vineyards of the Pegasus Estate, then relax on the winery lawns afterwards and enjoy food, drink, and live music. Oh, and there’s a bottle of trophy wine waiting at the finish line for every adult entrant. What’s not to like!

Register now for the Vine Run Sunday 29 January 2023

Vine Run

The Prescription Pad

Looking back on many years spent evaluating and judging wines, I feel the thing that defines a wine’s quality more than anything else is its harmony and balance. By this I mean that none of the wine’s many facets obtrudes awkwardly or is missing. When you enjoy a wine, it is the aroma and flavour that greet you first. Unfortunately, some showstopping wines depend solely on this smiley face upfront approach and have little else behind – a bit like Alice in Wonderland’s disappearing Cheshire cat.

To be good, a wine also needs body and length and to leave a pleasant taste after swallowing. There may be impressions of flavour that linger but true aftertaste is largely dependent on acids, tannins and sugars and it is to this I am referring.

The reason these taste sensations come last is due to the out of the way position of their taste buds on the sides and back of the tongue and the type of nerve impulses they send to the brain. It’s easy to confuse acid with bitterness but the former tastes sharp while tannins are bitter or drying. All wines contain and need tannins and acids. Without them wines would taste flabby, flat and spoil easily. Reds have larger amounts of tannins, which provide body, structure, length and colour.

They are also responsible for giving red wine its firm drying finish. Whites contain very little tannin and depend on acids for balance and aftertaste. Red wines also contain acid but in lower amounts than whites.

The inside of your mouth is covered by cells forming mucous membrane. These secrete mucus to protect them from damage by chemical substances, including acids and tannins. Tannins can cause this mucus to coagulate and detach so your mouth no longer feels slippery and moist but “dry“. Test this by swilling a tannic red around your mouth and splitting it into a bowl a few times, but I don’t recommend it as a party trick. It allows acids and tannins to directly irritate the cells, which is why they accentuate each other’s effects.

White wine with a high acid level and hardly any tannin, such as Riesling, may be in perfect balance. Similarly, a wine with a high tannin content but low acidity, such as a ripe Merlot, will also be fine. But put even moderate amounts of acid and tannin together and the result can be mouth puckering. High acid or tannin levels can also be balanced by some residual sweetness. This is sometimes used in small amounts even in so-called “dry” whites and reds.

Dry is a style and although it is usually taken to mean without sweetness it has no strict definition. You might be surprised to know many cheap dry commercial reds are helped along by a touch of sweetness. Serious young tannic reds are best cellared. They will gradually mellow as tannins mature and form a deposit.

The perception of wine’s balance and aftertaste is also greatly influenced by food. Drinking wine as a beverage, such as at a party, is a relatively recent fashion. Traditionally, wine’s place was at the dinner table. Eating stimulates the flow of saliva, thus renewing the mucous membrane’s protection and lessening the tannin/acid attack. In addition, the perception of harshness, bitterness or acidity is greatly affected by the type of food being eaten.

It seems perverse that a little residual sweetness in wine may soften these taste sensations but eating sugary foods while drinking increases them.

If you don’t believe me, try drinking a dry red wine with dessert. You’ll survive the experience, but you won’t do the wine any favours.

Next time you have a glass don’t be seduced by what’s up front. Instead, think about what comes after and make certain it has a well-balanced and satisfying finish.


Sculpture North Canterbury

‘Poised’ by Kiya Nancarrow (oxidised corten steel)

Pegasus Bay was thrilled to once again welcome Sculpture North Canterbury to the winery last month. Now in its 4th year, the event has gone from strength to strength, with pieces from over 15 of the country’s top sculpture artists displayed around the gardens, including Kiya Nancarrow, Oriah Rapley and Simon Max Bannister.

Friends or relatives in the UK?

With Brexit spelling increased tariffs on European wine, there’s never been a better time to spoil your loved ones in the UK with a Christmas gift of Pegasus Bay wines.

The service is also available throughout the year.

All bottles 750ml unless otherwise stated


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. Similar to our 2019 release, this new vintage also contains a portion of sauvignon that has been matured on skins for
around 200 days, adding further complexity. Picked during our first C-19 lockdown, we were blessed with an autumn full of perfect, warm, drawn-out days.

18.5/20 Roasted hazelnut and struck match … complex and sophisticated on a weighty and rich textured palate.
Candice Chow,

93/100 A youthful, powerful wine with aromas of gunflint and white spice, along with the classic blend of lime and gooseberry.
Cameron Douglas MS,, NZ

RIESLING 2020 - New Release

Made in an off-dry style, it is fermented at low temperatures to retain zesty aromas and flavoursand then bottled with a little naturally dissolved CO2 to give a hint of spritzig and tangy freshness.This new release is hot off the press, so we don’t yet have any reviews, however, here are some of the cellar notes to tantalise your tastebuds:

"The mouthfeel is zesty and energised, displaying both richness and an elegant structure. A seam of refreshing acidity combined with a hint of spritzig compliment the wine’s body perfectly, leaving the imbiber to savour a lengthy and crisp, satisfying finish."

RIESLING 2019 - New Release

1.5L Magnum
Rich and vibrant … gentle sweetness, mouth-watering acidity and a lasting, slightly honeyed finish.
Michael Cooper, New Zealand Listener Magazine

95/100 Immensely complex and enticing … generous and opulent yet refined and structured.
Sam Kim, Wine Orbit,


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 … exotically excellent.
Yvonne Lorkin,, NZ

93/100 Fantastic bouquet of exotic fruits and flowers … no mistaking the texture … touches all sections of the palate.
Cameron Douglas MS,, NZ

MUSCAT 2018 - New Release

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 Alsatian style with power, opulence and complexity and a sustained, spicy finish.
Candice Chow,

18.5/20 Exquisite, concentrated, and intensely aromatic … dialled up flavours of ripe orange and mandarin zest.
Joelle Thomson,


750ml and 1.5L Magnum
The settled summer and dry autumn of 2019 proved ideal in the vineyard. Made from ultra-low cropping Mendoza clone, this Chardonnay has power and intensity, yet is still fresh and vibrant. Following traditional Burgundian techniques, the juice was fermented with natural yeasts in French puncheons and aged on lees for 12 months.

19/20 One of the South Island’s most powerful, full-bodied, dry, and rewardingly complex Chardonnays.
Joelle Thomson,

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

PINOT NOIR 2020 - New Release

750ml and 1.5L Magnum
As mentioned above, our 2020 vintage had its challenges with C-19, but aside from that it 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 Rich and dark toned with earth, savoury elements, and a silky, fragranced palate.
Candice Chow,

95/100 Superbly complex and enticing … concentrated and fleshy with loads of delectable flavours.
Sam Kim, Wine Orbit,

PINOT NOIR 2012 - Aged Release

Our aged release Pinot Noir has been patiently maturing in our cellar for 10 years and we think that now is the perfect time for it to be savoured. A longer hang time due to the cooler season has added extra concentration and structure to this vintage.

18.5/20 A stunning wine from a cool year … Impressively full bodied, dark and smoky.
Joelle Thomson,

95/100 Clearly demonstrates the benefits of both bottle age and vine age … well worth the premium price.
Bob Campbell MW,


3L Jeroboam
95/100 Not your average bright and breezy Pinot. Its serious … savoury, dashed with raspberry vinegar.
Oz Clarke,

94/100 Spicy and long with joyous persistence, it’s hard not to be captivated by the weight. A super impressive wine.
Steve Leszczynski,


1.5L Magnum (new release)
2019 was an ideal season in the vineyard for our Bordeaux reds. A long, settled summer and lingering autumn meant the fruit was picked at optimum ripeness and in excellent condition. Aged in oak for 18 months, the finished product is made up of predominately merlot, with the remainder comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and a small amount of Cabernet Franc.

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

Very good complexity, gentle tannins, and a supple, finely textured finish.
Michael Cooper, 


Vergence is our non-traditional label where we enjoy pushing the boundaries of conventional winemaking. The core is barrel aged old vine Semillon, blended with Chardonnay and a touch of aromatics. As the various components reach optimal drinking at different times, we decided to make this a non-vintage wine to realise its full potential. This is a dry, full bodied white with serious character.

Plenty of funk, flavour and charisma … outstanding texture … finish lasts superbly.

94/100 The palate is wonderfully weighted and richly expressed …
finishing superbly long and delectable.
Sam Kim,

VERGENCE RED Mark II - New Release

Vergence is all about looking outside the square, and our Red Mark II is certainly that. 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 Pinot’s 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

18/20 Cherry and blackberry intermixed with smoke, mint, animal, cedar and spice … creamy mouthfeel with ripe and savoury tannins.
Candice Chow, 


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. The grapes have almost the same ripeness as those used for Aria, but their juice is fermented to dryness.

96/100 Leaps from the glass with aromas of orange blossom, marmalade, apricot, ginger and manuka honey … an engaging, expressive wine that stands out from the crowd.
Stephen Bennett MW / Lynnette Hudson,

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


1.5L Magnum (new release)
95/100 Richly fruited and fragrant … elegantly opulent and delectable.
Sam Kim,

17+/20 A serious Riesling … tense coiled power in the manner of the impressive German Trockens.
Stephen Wong MW,, NZ


750ml and 1.5L Magnum
In favourable years that allow such as this one, 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.

94/100 Gorgeous perfumed nose … lively, invigorating, with good drive and phenolics to balance the sweetness.
Stephen Bennett MW / Lynette Hudson,

Very good intensity … high acidity balanced by abundant sweetness. Michael Cooper,


750ml and 1.5L Magnum
As mentioned, the conditions this season were perfect for Chardonnay, and our latest Virtuoso is a testament to this. 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, 

PRIMA DONNA PINOT NOIR 2019 - New Release  

750ml, 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.

97/100 Immensely complex and seductively inviting … wonderfully weighted palate that’s richly textured and impressively long on the finish
Sam Kim,

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

PRIMA DONNA PINOT NOIR 2012 - Aged Release 

A cool summer followed by a lingering dry autumn resulted in a flavourful, concentrated wine with perfect structure. It’s been patiently bottle aging in our cellar, and now it’s showtime!

96/100 Appears to have aged wonderfully … an elegantly spicy wine with life ahead of it.
Bob Campbell MW,, AUS

95/100 A core charm of pinosity with a savoury seam and a mix of secondary fruit qualities … delicious on the palate.
Cameron Douglas MS,, NZ


750ml and 1.5L Magnum
As with Prima Donna, Maestro is produced only in very special years, and this is the first we have produced since 2016. As usual, this one is a blend of the barrels of Merlot, Cabernet, and Malbec that we feel best reflect the vintage and our terroir. This wine has not been sent out for review yet, but here are some cellar notes:

The palate is broad shouldered and muscular, with assertive tannins balanced by a concentrated ripe mouthfeel and a long spicy finish. Dense, meaty, and generously structured, this powerful and full-bodied wine upholds its place as the heavyweight in our reds division.


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.

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

A wine with a real “wow” factor ... mouthfilling, with concentrated stonefruit and honey flavours … great richness and harmony.
Michael Cooper,


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. This is another brand-new release that has not yet been reviewed, so here are some snippets from the tasting note instead:

Ripe melon, quince, honey, and perfume are flanked by deeper impressions of crème brulée, marmalade, lemon meringue and sweet spice. The palate is unctuous and concentrated, with a multi layered and palatial mouthfeel.


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.

95/100 Instantly appealing … wonderfully flavoursome palate … weighty and textural with a lingering refreshing finish.
Sam Kim,

18.5+/20 Lychee and stone fruit, entwined with ginger and jasmine … a poised and pure expression of Fortified Muscat.
Candice Chow,

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 Summer 2022 / 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