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Marlborough Lifetime Achievement Award Goes To Innovative Winemaker

25 October 2019

Marlborough Lifetime Achievement Award Goes To Innovative Winemaker

Wine Marlborough has awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr John Forrest, of Forrest Estate Wines, for his innovation and passion within the Marlborough wine industry. The award which recognises the pioneers of the modern-day industry, was presented to Dr Forrest at the Wine Marlborough QuayConnect Long Lunch held on Friday 25 October.

Dr Forrest turned his back of a successful neurophysiology career in 1988, when he returned to his home region of Marlborough, buying an eight-hectare property on the outskirts of Renwick. He and wife Dr Brigid Forrest turned the stony and scrubby land into a thriving vineyard that has become one of the signature wineries of Marlborough.
His innovation has seen Dr Forrest experiment with an assortment of new varieties from Albarino to Petite Marseng, Arneis to Gruner Veltliner.

He was a member of the original Screwcap Initiative that changed the closure face of New Zealand wine at the turn of the 21st century. An early advocate of low alcohol wines, Dr Forrest released his first Doctors’ Riesling back in 2006 with an alcohol level of just 8.5 percent. The Doctors’ Range now includes four styles; Pinot Noir, Riesling, Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc. His experimentation and the research have played a big role in the seven-year NZW Research Programme on Lighter Wines.

Continually fighting to make Marlborough a quality producer renowned throughout the world Dr Forrest was a founding member of Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) established last year. AMW’s aim is to produce wines that fit four criteria, Origin, Integrity, Authenticity and Sustainability. Dr Forrest has long been one to stand up against high yields and low quality that he believes can only damage Marlborough’s reputation.

Wine Marlborough GM Marcus Pickens says Dr Forrest has done so much for Marlborough in his 31 years as a winemaker, he is the perfect recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. “Marlborough wine owes a lot to his efforts and his determination to make this region stand out on the world stage, as a high-quality producer.”

Previous recipients of the Wine Marlborough Lifetime Achievement Award include: Gerry Gregg, Ross Lawson, Phil Rose, Ivan Sutherland, Jane Hunter and Dr Rengasamy Balasubramaniam.

An interesting side note The very first wine Dr John Forrest made turned a disaster into a success. His tank of Merlot grapes was overfilled and exploded, with the end result all skins were lost. Dr Forrest decided the only thing to do was create a Rosé from the juice that was left. That wine went on to win the Champion Rosé Trophy at the Air NZ Wine Awards. Just minutes before Dr Forrest was awarded his Lifetime Achievement Award in October, the winemaker discovered that his 2019 The Doctor’s Rosé had been awarded the Rosé Trophy at the Wine Marlborough Show. As well as that, Forrest Estate Wines won the Champion Pinot Noir 2017 & Older Trophy and took out the Champion Wine of the Show with Forrest Pinot Noir 2017. It was a case of coming full circle.

For more information:
Marcus Pickens
GM Wine Marlborough
Mob: +64 21 831 820

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