F for Forrest

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

Low alcohol wines, quirky whites and maverick reds are among the many diverse bottles produced at Forrest Estate wines. This well known Marlborough brand is our winery of the month. This blog is an insight into the history behind the brand as well as the wines.  

Two doctors founded this winery, one of them a practicing GP, Dr Brigid Forrest; the other one a scientist with a degree in neurophysiology, Dr John Forrest, who decided to follow his passion for wine into a new career. That was in the late 1980s and the rest, as the old saying goes, is history, except that this innovative producer is still evolving. 

The winemaker today is Beth Forrest, daughter of the Brigid and John and also the woman responsible for seeing the arrival of the Albarino grape into New Zealand. Beth discovered Albarino when working at a winery in Galicia in north west Spain; the traditional homeland of the white Albarino grape. It was there that she also found a region with a disconcertingly similar climate to New Zealand's maritime one, which happens to suit Albarino down to the ground, if you'll excuse the pun. 

When she arrived home and told her father, John, about Albarino, the pair set about asking this country's biggest vine nursery if they could import the grape here. Enter Riversun Vine Nursery in Gisborne, which did just that. That's in the distant past now and Albarino is now gaining wide recognition as a white grape that is exceptionally well suited to this climate.

Innovation has always been high on John Forrest's to-do list and he has remained a champion of unfashionable but noble grape varieties and wines made from them, such as Chenin Blanc, Petite Manseng and Riesling. He was also a founding member of the New Zealand Screwcap Initiative, of Appellation Marlborough Wine (which is committed to wines made from grapes that are 100% Marlborough-grown) and also spear heads lower alcohol wines with balanced flavours. Innovation is certainly alive and well at Forrest Estate in Marlborough and we hope you enjoy the journey, the wines and the in store tastings we bring you a glimpse of this month from Forrest Estate Wines in Marlborough.

Drs John and Dr Brigid Forrest and their daughter Beth Forrest are among Marlborough's few family owned wineries and among the region's most committed pioneers and producers of great wines in a  wide range of styles. 

All three members of the Forrest family remain involved in the day to day running of the business and for Brigid, this is takes place alongside her full time career in healthcare. 

This month we’re looking forward to showing you a wide range of the lovely reds and whites from this producer in the country’s biggest wine region. While Sauvignon Blanc is the leading light at Forrest, in volume terms, it is Albarino, Chenin Blanc and Riesling, among many others, that make this winery such a stellar wine producer.

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