THE FAMILY

The Donaldson Family have been seriously involved in viticulture and winemaking for over 40 years. Founder Ivan Donaldson planted the first Canterbury vineyard in 1976 and went on to establish Pegasus Bay in 1986 with his wife Christine. It is a true family business with all four of their sons and two spouses involved, managing various aspects.

THE VINEYARD AND VINES 

The vineyard is located within the Waipara Valley of North Canterbury, on free draining, north facing terraces carved out of New Zealand’s Southern Alps by an ice-age glacier. It benefits from being in the lee of the Teviotdale Range, giving maximum protection from the Pacific’s easterly breezes and thus creating a unique mesoclimate. The vines are over 30 years old, with a large proportion planted on their own roots. 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 terroir. The vineyard has warm days, but the nights are amongst the coolest in the Waipara Valley, drawing out the ripening period of the grapes, while still retaining good natural acidity.

THE SEASON

Unsettled weather over flowering resulted in a lighter than average set, meaning that no further fruit thinning was necessary. The subsequent warm summer then allowed the grapes to ripen beautifully, followed by autumn conditions that were favourable for the onset of botrytis.

THE HARVEST AND WINEMAKING

Harvest was deliberately delayed until the start of May, at which point the berries had developed an ideal amount of botrytis. After picking, the grapes were crushed and then left in contact with their skins. Following pressing, the cloudy juice was transferred into old oak puncheons, where it was left to ferment naturally. The wine was then matured for approximately 6 months in these barrels prior to bottling.

THE WINE

The wine is pale gold in colour, reflecting the fruit’s extended hang time. Its bouquet reveals an intoxicating melange of beeswax, peach, honeysuckle, lychee, dried fig and exotic spice. Due to the varietal intensity of Gewurtz, some additional winemaking techniques have been employed to give the wine extra complexity. Skin contact and fermenting with solids provide increased structure and a subtle hint of struck match, while the oak aging and lees contact adds mouth feel. On the palate it is rich and unctuous, with ripe phenolics and a lingering aftertaste of fresh ginger that complement the wine’s off-dry finish.

Download Tasting Notes


2016

92/100
Plenty of flinty rose water and luscious tropical fruits. The cool lychee palate is a thing of real beauty. Jasmine and rose water florals linger playfully.”
- Nick Stock, jamesSuckling.com, USA
94/100
“ … weighty and complex gewürztraminer … Impressive wine
- Bob Campbell MW, bobcampbell.nz, NZ
18.5/20
“..This is a rich and luscious, weighty and powerful medium-dry Gewurztraminer… 
- Raymond Chan, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, NZ
“   a powerful but not heavy style with rich, citrusy, well-spiced flavours, gentle acidity, unusual complexity and a well-rounded, lasting finish. Full of personality, …
- Winestate Magazine, AUS
“ … Powerful it has a beautifully perfumed, spicy bouquet, leading into a weighty wine … unusual complexity and harmony … already delicious
- Michael Copper, michaelcooper.co.nz, NZ

2014

18.5/20
“ …. full-bodied, rich and opulent fruit flavours of tropical fruits, Turkish Delight, marmalade, honey and musk …. an unctuous texture and mouthfeel … .  The wine flows with vibrancy and energy …”
- Raymond Chan, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, NZ
95/100
” … a full and rich bouquet of Gewurztraminer … On the palate - creamy, rich, salivating and packed with multiple fruit flavours … ; long rewarding finish
- Cameron Douglas MS, camerondouglasms.blogspot.co.nz, NZ
96/100
“ … Rich, Alsace-style Gewürztraminer with masses of flavour and richly textured … Seriously good wine …” 
- Bob Campbell MW, bobcampbell.nz, NZ
Wow!  The glittering yellow diamond colour of this wine is quite mesmerizing… an irresistibly un-put-downable example"
- Yvonne Lorkin, yvonnelorkin.com NZ

2013

95/100
Totally seductive Gewurztraminer . . . It is a triumph both texturally and in terms of complexity. Above all its a lovely drink”
- Bob Campbell MW, bobcampbellwinereviews.com
18.5/20
“… The mouthfeel is soft and unctuous with very fine textures, and good alcohol power and drive. Some complex reductive elements add interest and are carried to a long, soft, near-decadent finish. This is a rich, near-decadent, medium-dry Gewurztraminer with ginger and honied flavours along with some subtle funky complexities. …
- Raymond Chan, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz

2011

… Alsace-like, with substantial body and excellent delicacy, complexity and length. Poised and youthful, it is already lovely, with rich peach, lychee and spice flavours, and a gentle splash of sweetness. Benchmark stuff.
- Michael Cooper’s Buyers Guide, NZ
The aromas and flavours suggest freshly sliced, ripe pear, intertwined with hints of quince, greengage and loquat. The palate is complex and multi-faceted, with an unctuous concentration of fruit and lusciousness, balanced by a spine of minerality and grapefruit-like acidity which draw out the length and complement the lingering aftertaste.
- Wine of the year finalist - Wine State magazine, Australia
Utterly drop dead deliciously good; obviously a Gewürztraminer in the hands of a master, in this case North Canterbury winemaker Mat Donaldson, who treats Gewurz’ like a great Riesling, giving it all the intensity and enhancing its acidity too. The result is an amazingly pretty, super tropical, ultra refreshing wine. A must try . . . this wine is a winner.
- Joelle Thompson, DrinksBiz , NZ
Download Reviews

Pegasus Bay

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Off Licence.
Licence Holder:Donaldson Family Limited T/A:Pegasus Bay Winery.
Licence no:57/OFF/458/2019 Exp:16/03/2022