Waipara Wine Valley

Phil's Best Kept Canterbury Secret #19

Few people truly understand why New Zealand was named amongst the world's wine capitals - and why the Global Wine Network selected Christchurch, New Zealand as its newest member.

Only 40 minutes from Christchurch City is New Zealand's fastest growing wine region - the Waipara wine valley. Waipara and its award-winning vintages can take much of the credit for the region's recent honour - family traditions deserve some of the rest.

Amongst the Waipara's cellar doors and within this special hidden valley, lives the Donaldson family. Those from Christchurch may be lucky enough to know them. Those visiting Christchurch should make a trip to Waipara to meet the Donaldsons of Pegasus Bay.

The Donaldson family has been seriously involved in wine since the early 1970s and were pioneers of local grape-growing and winemaking.

Their passion has been recognised by others with Pegasus Bay being awarded numerous accolades including being recently rated as one of New Zealand's top five wine producers by celebrated American wine writer, Robert Parker. Across the two wine labels (Pegasus Bay and Main Divide) an extensive range of wines is produced with the focus predominantly on riesling and pinot noir, however chardonnay, sauvignon semillon and merlot cabernet also form an important part of their range.