Home and Garden
There's more than wine to savour at Forrest Estate, where sculptures, sports and strolls around the park accompany tasting trays of the winery's top tastes. Sophie Preece takes a look around.
The welcome to Forrest Estate Winery looms above the state highway in a bright-red flash, the gorgeous carved work of Fatu Feu'u bold against fields of vines.
This marriage of art and wine continues to the cellar door, a simple building in a park-like setting, where green lawns roll to a tree-shadowed pond, and to sculptures scattered all around the property.
Brigid Forrest, who established this label and cellar door with husband John in the early 1990s, says it was always their intention to make it a destination, with more to savour than wine.
"That's why we do our tasting trays. So people get outside and enjoy the ambience, rather than just swilling wine at the counter."
They also have a self-service fridge, with cheeses, salamis and antipasto platters for those who need sustenance along the way.
This is a family-run winery, and its hands-on qualities began early, as the Forrests and their children chose stones from the Wairau River and made the first of the lovely stone walls now surrounding the cellar door. They want to attract families, too, providing a wine barrel of sports equipment, a badminton net, lawn tennis court, petanque and plenty of space to play.
"Our children grew up here, with John and I working in the vines and cellar door seven days a week, so this was their playground, and people would often watch the kids swimming in the pond or playing tennis or cricket with the neighbourhood kids," says Brigid.
More sculptures, of steel and sandstone, sit amid native plantings below the stone walls and inside the stone continues, offset with a copper bar, and bench seats hewn from rugged timber railway sleepers. Couches, bean bags and a roaring fire also should epitomise casual Kiwi comfort, says Brigid.
"We're not pretentious people, but we enjoy company and when we lived overseas, it was the relaxed friendly Kiwi atmosphere we missed. We hope we bring that feeling to the place."
WIN A CELLAR DOOR TASTE
Forrest Estate is giving away a taste of their cellar door, with three vouchers for a Forrest Tasting Tray and Cheese Platter, along with a couple of non alcoholic drinks for the youngsters, valued at $25 each.
To enter, clip this item from the Marlborough Express, August 10 and send it to
c/- PO Box 242,
by 5pm Thursday June 16.
Remember to write your name, address and daytime phone number on the back of the envelope.
- The Marlborough Express