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The Family

Since the 1970's, the Donaldson family have been immersed in the wine industry.

Associate Professor and Consultant Neurologist, Ivan Donaldson, became interested in wine when Christine (his girlfriend at the time) gave him a book called 'Wine' which sparked his passion for grape growing and winemaking.

Ivan explored the wine regions of Europe, only to return home to Canterbury to plant his first vineyard. By the mid 1980s Ivan and Christine decided there was definitely a future for wine making in Canterbury.

Pegasus Bay was planted with the help of their four sons, who all still today have key roles within the business and the company are proudly family-owned. 



North Canterbury's Viticulture Region

The Waipara Valley is located in North Canterbury, on the east coast of the South Island in Aotearoa, New Zealand. With long hours of sunshine, hot dry summers and long Autumns, Waipara is an ideal location for grape growing.

With the Southern Alps (Main Divide) lies to the West, Waipara is sheltered from the region's notorious winds and the sea provides some stability to the climate with war days, cool nights and a dry autumn. All of these factors help prolong the ripening period for the grapes to produce flavour intensity, while retaining good natural acidity. 

About Main Divide

Main Divide is the local name for the Southern Alps, where grapes for Main Divide wines are exclusively sourced. The aim is to produce fresh, pure wines with vigour and reflections of the regional varietal characteristics and cool climate of the south. 

The carefully selected vineyard sites in North Canterbury are all have a unique terroir. The family work closely with each of the growers of these vineyards throughout the season to obtain quality fruit, which the Donaldson Family can then produce their handcrafted wines at their Waipara winery.
Matthew Donaldson is the wine-maker for Main Divide. His passions and years of experience produces wines which reflect the pure and fresh fruit flavours, which expresses each vineyards specific characteristics.
Main Divide's philosophy is based on individuality and harmony. The family wish to produce distinctive, vibrant wines with lively fruit flavours, which at the same time are integrated and harmonious.



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