Pegasus Bay Aged Release 2011 and celebrates its 31st vintage


This year Pegasus Bay celebrates its 31st vintage (1991-2021). When Ivan & Christine (Chris) Donaldson established Pegasus Bay in the Waipara Valley in 1986 by making wine in the garage of their Christchurch home they had no idea they were creating a family business that would one day involve all four of their sons.

Their sons grew up with the winery, even helping plant the vineyard which is now 35 years old. Eldest Son Mat is the Winemaker, Mike is the Canterbury Sales Manager, Paul is the General Manager, Ed is the Marketing Manager and his wife Belinda is the Events Manager. Ivan and Chris are still involved, with Ivan overseeing the vineyards and Chris evolving and maintaining the beautiful winery gardens.

Their success shared with all four of their sons and their continued involvement in the vineyard has given the couple a great deal of pride. Today, Pegasus Bay is a globally recognised brand exported to more than 20 countries.

As one of their more recent initiatives, Pegasus Bay started an Aged Release program. In 2016, they released wine from their 2006 vintage, which they had been holding for 10 years to allow it time to develop into something really special. The Donaldson family at Pegasus Bay are very aware of the ageing ability of their wines, and every year they set aside small quantities of their wine for this program.

Their goal with their Aged Release program is to show that a decade of bottle age can mean great complexity and very different characteristics to their young wines, and most possibly even offer greater enjoyment. Pegasus Bay Aged Release wines can be purchased from the winery direct, selected wine shops or restaurants across the country.

This year marks their 6th year of the Aged Release program, with the 2011 vintage.

Here I have shared my thoughts on the Aged Release of 2011 Riesling, Pinot Noir and Prima Donna Pinot Noir. The 2011 growing season was influenced by La Nina weather conditions, resulting in a very mild spring, a warm summer with high sunshine hours and a long, lingering autumn. Well-spaced showers aided the drying condition; the fruit was picked in beautiful condition with physiological ripeness. The resulting wines are powerful with great complexity and concentration. They’ve developed beautifully with tertiary characters but are not at all old – there’s still plenty of time ahead to enjoy these wines.




  • Pegasus Bay Riesling Aged Release 2011, Waipara
  • Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir Aged Release 2011, Waipara
  • Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir Aged Release 2011, Waipara

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