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2014 has steadily progressed here at Forrest Wines, and as of today (11th April) we are only left with approximately 5% of fruit out in the vineyards, this is great news, because since the 9th April the heavens opened in Marlborough and the rain has been steadily falling, it is a real satisfying feeling to see all our fruit tucked up in a very safe home for the next stage of their progression to fine wine.
As a small winery, we have always benefited from being able to do a lot of small batch winemaking, this means we can keep the fruit separate for longer so we can grade our best fermented juice for when we are ready to blend, John and the winery team for the next months will be constantly monitoring these small batches and ensuring all is done to steer them in the direction they choose, the less intervention the better, and John likes to see the vineyard really shine through in the wines he produces. Just visit the John Forrest Collection wines to see this in its truest form.
As you know, vintage is the busiest time of the year within the winery so who would be brave enough to hold one of New Zealands favourite cycle races during this time. Forrest Wines would, the Forrest GrapeRide.
On April 4th and 5th, while the sun was still shining, 2500 cyclists from all over NZ and further afield as the UK, Japan and Indonesia, to name just a few, descended on the winery. Vintage continued throughout the 2 days, when the fruit is ready it is ready, there is no stopping! All 2500 people and their support crews benefitting from this action packed time, seeing Marlborough in its true glory. The 101km race takes place in some of the best scenery on this earth and for us, it is great to see so many smiling faces at the winery and to remind our tired vintage crew of the main reason why we are in this business, to share a glass of good wine with friends and family.
The famous 100 virgins grape crush went ahead as planned and overseas journalists and even our very own Bob Campbell Master of Wine was at the winery to witness the famous crush.
Our cellar crew:
As promised, here is a further update on our vintage workers, our night shift crew alongside Chris Andrews. Ben and Ruben.
Ruben is the 2nd of our Spanish winemakers, he has also worked in Marlborough before, he studied in Spain at the University of Valladolid and went on to work in the DO of Cigales. He is a big Barcelona football fan and missing the action of the league in Europe very much.
Ben is from the US, and again is accustomed with New Zealand fruit having worked in Marlborough last year and gaining more experience again this year, previous cellar work at Volk Vineyards in Santa Barbara gives him a good understanding of our important Pinot Noir.
Forrest are 100% self sufficient for vintage, owning our own harvester, truck for grape recieval and of course own winery, plus vineyard and winemaking teams to make the wine. This can help us ensure absolute quality and control over fruit picking decisions to make the perfect drop for your pleasure