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The Doctors' Gruner Veltliner 2013
Leaving behind careers in molecular biology and medicine, John and Brigid returned to Marlborough in 1988 to establish their first vineyard at Renwick - at the heart of the stony Wairau River Valley.
Vintage 1990 saw the first Forrest wine and immediate success with a trophy at the national wine awards - success that has been repeated many times both nationally and internationally over the subsequent vintages.
To the often asked question "why did you do it?" the answer is, a mixture of the wine 'passion' and a desire to achieve and be recognized and rewarded for one's efforts. In hindsight we struck upon a career which suits our personalities - a perfect blend of art and science.
Grape growing and winemaking is an exacting science, however it must have the artistic touch to give the wines 'soul'. That individual expression of style is the trademark of our wines - rich aromatic white wine, and powerfully scented reds - all impeccably structured and a joy to drink.
An icon and leading region of New Zealand's distinctive style of Sauvignon blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir, making it ideal for high quality grape production (of many varieties). Despite some common generalizations, which could be fairly justified given that Marlborough is responsible for 90% of New Zealand's Sauvignon blanc production, the wines from this region are actually anything but homogenous. At the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from well-draining stony soils, a dry, sunny climate and wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, a phenomenon that supports a perfect balance between berry ripeness and acidity.
The region’s king variety, Sauvignon blanc, is beloved for its pungent, aromatic character with notes of exotic tropical fruit, freshly cut grass and green bell pepper along with a refreshing streak of stony minerality. These wines are made in a wide range of styles, and winemakers take advantage of various clones, vineyard sites, fermentation styles, lees-stirring and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings, one from one another.
Fun to say and delightfully easy to drink, Grüner Veltliner is indigenous to Austria, where it has long maintained its status as the nation’s most important and most planted white grape.
In the Glass
Crisp and refreshing with plenty of lively acidity, Grüner Veltliner is marked by telltale notes of white pepper, citrus, peach, herbs and a bright minerality. While most are fresh and ready to drink early, there are a few styles to be found. Many high caliber single vineyard bottlings can benefit from cellar aging but the straightforward and easily quaffable Grüners often come in one liter size bottles—a convenient size!
Grüner Veltliner is a wonderfully versatile wine. It can pair with just about any lighter fare, from seafood to poultry, or even notoriously difficult vegetables like asparagus and artichokes. Traditional Austrian Weiner Schnitzel is also a perfect match to the acidity and spice in Grüner Veltliner.
About 75% of the world’s Grüner Veltliner comes from Austria but the variety is gaining ground in other countries, namely Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the United States.