Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Dry Riesling 2019
Availability: 97 in stock
Upon release it is lemon-straw in colour. The bouquet is an enticing medley of citrus and stone fruit, interspersed with floral notes of elderflower and honeysuckle. Layered beneath there are also hints of ginger, honey and spice. The long hang time and influence of botrytis has resulted in a wine that is rich and full bodied, with ripe phenolics that add structure and length. It is concentrated yet delicate, with invigorating acidity and a satisfyingly dry finish.
The Donaldson family have been immersed in the wine industry since the early 1970s and were pioneers of local grape growing and wine making. Associate Professor and Consultant Neurologist, Ivan Donaldson, first became interested in wine when his girlfriend at the time, Christine, gave him a book simply called – ‘Wine’.
Penned by English industry legend, Hugh Johnson, the book started Ivan on an exciting journey, that has never stopped. After travelling to explore the wine regions of Europe, Ivan returned home to plant one of the first vineyards of modern times in Canterbury… and to marry Christine, who has been an integral part of the Pegasus Bay story.
The first vineyard was a hobby with Ivan making wine in the garage at home on the weekends, in-between seeing patients at his private practice in the evening and after his shifts at the public hospital. He also started writing a wine column in the local paper (that he continued for over 20 years) and was a judge in numerous wine shows around the globe. In 2012 Ivan was awarded an Order of Merit for his contribution to Neurology.
By the mid 1980s Ivan and Chris had decided there was definitely a future for wine making in Canterbury. They went on to plant Pegasus Bay with the help of their four sons, who have all ended up working in key roles within the business. Ivan, now retired from medicine, continues to oversee viticulture while Chris’s ‘happy place’ is in the winery’s extensive grounds, now beautifully well-established thanks to her careful planting over the last 30 years.
Pegasus Bay is proud to be entirely family-owned..
Spanning almost 200km of the South Islands eastern coast, Canterbury is one of New Zealand’s true gems. With a cool climate, the regions grapes experience long and steady ripening periods. Sunlight is a critical component of the ripening process and luckily for all, the region is typically bathed in it. Coupled with the advantageous levels of sunlight, there’s the infamous northwest wind that sweeps over the land, not only helping prevent a myriad of diseases by drying out the vine canopy, but also helps add to the total heat accumulation. While in warmer climates the natural acidity and aromatics are lost, Canterbury’s cool climates ensure bold and balanced flavours. Warm days and cool nights contribute result in rich flavour intensity. But every cloud has a silver lining, frost poses a serious threat to vintners especially in late spring or early autumn, to combat this, crop thinning is used to help accelerate the ripening process decreasing the period each fruit is at risk.
Canterbury’s main sub-region is Waipara Valley, (which translates to muddy water in Maori) situated to the north of the region is only a 40 minute journey from Christchurch city (considered the capital of the south island). Waipara has a slightly warmer climate than the rest of Canturbury, aiding in the frost issues the region experiences. Already boasting over 80 vineyards spread, covering more than 1,200 hectares of land Waipara is one of the fastest growing sub-regions, with the spot light slowly falling on Waipara, wines are getting more and more recognition and international acclaim. We can’t help but recommend the Riesling and Pinot Noir.
With three soil profiles, the regions unique terroir is comprised of “the valley floor, hill slopes and river terraces”. These profiles include gravelly deposits on the flats and terraces and limestone clays on the hillsides.