The Pegasus Bay AKA THE VORTEX!

Back in 1985, when child labour was in the currency of ice creams and lollies, the Donaldson family planted the Pegasus Bay vineyard in the Waipara Valley. Thirty-four years on, Ivan and Chris Donaldson and their four boys, Mat, Mike, Ed and Paul all still work for the business – the kids for more than just sweets, these days.

Mat is the winemaker, Mat’s wife, Di, looks after the winery logistics, Ed is marketing manager, his wife, Belinda, is the restaurant manager, Paul is the general manager and Mike looks after local sales. Dad Ivan overseas the vineyard, and mum Chris takes care of landscaping and gardens.

All Pegasus Bay wines are grown on the home vineyard, a third of which is dedicated to pinot noir (another third grows riesling grapes, and the final third is planted with sauvignon blanc, semillon, chardonnay, muscat, merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, cabernet sauvignon). The Donaldsons also make Main Divide wines at Pegasus Bay but from fruit soured from select North Canterbury growers.

There is a cellar door onsite at Pegasus Bay, open daily, where you can drop by for tastings of around 12 wines. There’s also a restaurant (open five days a week) which serves up simple dishes made from produce either grown on the vineyard or sourced nearby. Service is polished and professional but relaxed and casual at the same time – customers are welcome to turn up in a tuxedo or a thong – they won’t judge!

After lunch, take a stroll through the acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, or settle into one of the Chesterfield couches in front of the open fire.

Pegasus Bay Winery and Restaurant

Stockgrove Rd, Glasnevin 7482
New Zealand

Where do you pinot?

Up in the North Canterbury high county lakes. The huts are super basic with incredible views.  I’m sure the company has a lot to do with it, plus there’s no phone coverage which is always a treat!

If your pinot was a music artist, who would it be?

Uone. An artist making beautiful “new school” electronic tunes with world music influences. Hard to pigeon hole, always exiting, fresh and funky!

Best music to listen to during vintage?

Honestly anything and everything goes!

When we come to visit you, which song should we listen to when we’re driving into your winery? Which one should we listen to when we’re driving away?

Love will save me – Electric Wire Hussle on arrival. Dos Fuegos – Baily Wiley when leaving. Both tracks off our latest Main Divide NZ music Comp. The following link is a free download of the album.

Your pinots are best for…

Consumption, at any time. Main Divide for lunch, Peg Bay for dinner, Prima Donna for Desert. Particularly on a Monday, but also on at least six other days of the week. It’s important to slam the bottle down hard on the table when finished, and make a lip smacking gesture, then do a dolphin dive for maximum effect.

Your pinots are best paired with…

Glasses, but if desperate… it also comes in a glass.

When no one is watching, you drink…

Long Island Iced Tea. Or cider… real cider is good too. And craft beer…. can I just say “anything”?

What year was your first pinot noir vintage and what song best represents it?

1991 and it was…

The one song that makes you dance when the beat drops…

What do you listen to when you’re MAKING PINOT?

What do you listen to when you’re DRINKING PINOT?