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Pegasus Bay is a family owned and operated winery in Waipara, North Canterbury. The Pegasus was the name of the sailing ship which surveyed part of the South Island in 1809. The first mate of the brig Pegasus, William Stewart, gave Pegasus Bay its name. Waipara Valley is separated from the ocean (Pegasus Bay) by a range of hills which protect it from the cooling winds of the Pacific Ocean. To the West lie the Southern Alps (Main Divide) which shield Waipara from the hot northwest winds. The Donaldson family have been making wine since the early 1970s. Ivan Donaldson is a wine writer and wine judge and his two winemakers are his eldest son, Matthew, and Matthew’s spouse, Lynnette Hudson. Two other sons, Edward and Paul, also are involved in the business on the marketing and administration side. The winery operates a restaurant on the estate and a natural amphitheater hosts local and international acts.
The wines are imported to the United States by Meadowbank Estates, Alexandria, VA.
2012 Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley New Zealand Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $34.99, screwcap. Imported by Empson USA Inc., Alexandria, VA. The Donaldson family, who own and operate this winery, are pioneers of local winegrowing and winemaking. Ivan Donaldson is a wine writer, wine judge and viticulturist. His eldest son, Matthew, is a winemaker and 2012 marked his 20th vintage at Pegasus Bay. A multi-clone blend from vines up to nearly 30-years-old and on their own roots. Mostly de-stemmed, whole berry fermentation, 10% whole clusters added to vats. Cold soak, postfermentation cold maceration of 1-2 weeks, aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, spice, underbrush and barnyard lead to a middleweight styled wine with earthy dark red and black stone and berry fruits underpinned with a light touch of toasty oak. Inviting elegance, modest tannins, and a very enjoyable finish. Score: 92. Reviewed February 5, 2016 ARTICLE »
2006 Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., $35, screw cap. · Charming perfume of spicy red fruits, cinnamon, and a touch of herb farm. Straightforward red cherry flavors, slightly raisined, with noticeable but fine tannins, and a slightly dry and tart finish. Decent but not exceptional. Reviewed October 13, 2008 ARTICLE »
2004 Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Waipara Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., $65, screw cap. Imported by Meadowbank Estates, Alexandria, VA. This wine is only made in small quantities from select barrels in special vintages. · Very sexy and rich scents of wild berries including olalliberries with complimentary dried herbs. Juicy and succulent black cherry and blackberry fruit with an appealing touch of earthiness, grilled meat and spicy oak. Not a bashful wine but light on its feet, with well-corralled tannins, and a clean and refreshing finish that goes on and on. Reviewed October 13, 2008 ARTICLE »