By ROBYN BRISTOW
Pegasus Bay Winery is opening its vineyard in aid of the New Zealand Brain Research Institute again early next year for Vine Run 2019.
The inaugural event in January, which attracted 400 competitors, raised $19,000. It provided the platform for a fun family day out for runners and walkers.
Early-bird entries for the event on Sunday, January 27, close at the end of September. Ticket prices remain the same at $65 for early-bird entry, and $75 from then on. Included in each adult entry is a bottle of trophy wine to take away at the end of the day. Entry for minors is $40.
The event takes runners and walkers over a 6km or 10km route, among the vines and fruit of the Donaldson family estate, over hills amd through valleys. It gives participants a chance to take a behind-the-scenes look at the winery’s vineyard and expansive gardens.
Mike Donaldson says the run will not only raise funds for the institute, but also promote the local region.
It is hoped the event will become an important date on the calendar and grow into a half-marathon.
People are welcome to relax on the expansive lawns after the run, listen to live music, and enjoy food options that are available. Participants are welcome to bring a picnic lunch.
The Pegasus Bay Winery and Vineyard is a family affair. The Donaldson family has been seriously involved in wine since the early 1970s. They are pioneers of the North Canterbury region.
Ivan Donaldson, who had a long career as an associate professor and consultant neurologist, as well as being a wine writer and wine judge, oversees viticulture and wine styles. He began the vineyard while holding down his day job.
His wife, Christine, established the gardens at Pegasus Bay and maintains the extensive grounds.
She is also a lover of opera and the arts, and has been heavily involved in the local opera scene for many years.
The Donaldson family have hosted many classical concerts at the winery’s natural amphitheatre, and a reserve range of wines has been dedicated to Christine’s passion for opera.
Their eldest son, Matthew, is the winemaker. He graduated with an oenology degree and a postgraduate diploma in viticulture at Roseworthy College in Australia. He has worked many vintages in other parts of the world, with a particular focus on Burgundy. Last year year marked Matthew’s 25th vintage at Pegasus Bay. His wife, Di, helps with winery logistics.
Another son, Edward, is marketing manager. He spends much of his time promoting his family’s wines to more than 25 countries, while his wife, Belinda, directs the winery’s award-winning restaurant.
Youngest son Paul, who has an MBA, is the winery’s general manager, while son Mike is the local sales manager.