The Donaldson Family have been seriously involved in viticulture and winemaking for over 40 years. Founder Ivan Donaldson planted one of Canterbury’s first vineyards 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 involved.


The vineyard is located within the Waipara Valley of North Canterbury, on free draining, north facing terraces. 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. They are located on the “Glasnevin Gravels” where greywacke stones, silt and loam have been washed down from the mountains over the millennia. The soil is 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.


Cold weather during bud burst resulted in lower crop levels, hence no further fruit thinning was carried out. The subsequent warm dry summer served up perfectly ripened small berries full of intense flavour and concentration. Favourable conditions continued into autumn, allowing the grapes to be picked at their optimum ripeness.


This is the first edition of our beloved white Bordeaux blend under its new reserve name Minuetto. Comprised of approximately 60% Sauvignon Blanc & 40% Semillon, both varieties were picked in stages, timing each harvest to optimise the grapes’ range of natural flavours. They were fermented separately, most of the Sauvignon Blanc in stainless steel to retain the pure fruit character and all the Semillon in oak puncheons to add texture. Approximately one third of the Sauvignon was fermented using whole bunch and then matured on skins for 200 days, to give added complexity. Both varieties were aged on their natural deposits of yeast lees (sur lie) for approximately 10 months, prior to blending. Once bottled, the wine was left to age for another 18 months before release, allowing it to integrate further.


It is lemon-straw in colour. Cascading from the glass is a parade of tropical tones, with guava, passionfruit, and grilled pineapple taking centre stage. Contrasted against this are lingering impressions of smoky citrus, nutty biscuit, lanolin, and a herbal undercurrent of crushed oregano. Lavish yet complex, the richly textured mouthfeel soon gives way to ripe phenolics and a rousing lash of acidity that canters across the palate, saddling up for a persistent and lasting finish, beckoning you back for more.

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Pegasus Bay

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