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Exclusive US Importer for New Zealand’s Forrest Wines and Rongopai


NAPA, CALIF., November 8, 2022 – Quintessential, a family-owned and operated import, marketing and sales company that exclusively represents family-owned wineries from around the world, is pleased to announce that it will be the sole US importer for two premier New Zealand brands—Forrest Wines and Rongopai.

Dennis Kreps, co-owner of Quintessential says, “These standout New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs are exactly what the US market craves. They are distinctive, quality-driven wines that are crafted with the utmost care and respect for the environment and future generations. We look forward to expanding their footprint in the United States.”

Forrest Wines

Founded in 1988 by Doctors John and Brigid Forrest, this world-class winery is famed for being a New Zealand pioneer. John was one of the leaders in implementing screwcaps through his groundbreaking research on bottle closures. He also discovered that with selective and timed leaf removal, the grapes didn’t produce as much sugar, had lower acidity and softer phenol bitterness (while still retaining their full flavor), resulting in better tasting, higher-quality low alcohol wines. John’s passion for wine experimentation and boundary-pushing was honored in 2007 by Wine State as “New Zealand’s Winemaker of the Year.” In 2019, Wine Marlborough named Forrest their “Winery of the Year.”

Beth Forrest, John and Brigid’s daughter, graduated from Adelaide University with a master’s degree in Oenology and officially joined Forrest in 2015. As general manager and winemaker, she brings a wealth of knowledge, vibrancy and an infectious passion for winemaking to Forrest, and has continued generating innovative, “mad scientist” ideas that the winery is known for. Beth is also a leader in her own right, as the first Chairwoman of the Marlborough Wine-Grower’s Association and is involved with several other New Zealand wine industry groups.

Forrest uses both sheep in the vineyards to act as natural lawn mowers and plants wildflowers between the vineyard rows to balance micronutrients, reducing the need to add chemical nutrients to the soil. Forrest is certified sustainable by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand.

The 2022 Forrest Wines Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $21.99) will be available nationally by January 2023. A new low-alcohol label, named after Brigid, will launch in the US in early 2023. The Brigid Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $19.99) and Pinot Noir (SRP $22.99) will only be sold in the US.


Founded in 1932, in the picturesque town of Te Kauwhata (where New Zealand’s first viticultural research station was built in 1886), Rongopai’s grapes were prized for their unique characteristics that are now identified as quintessentially New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. In 2007, the winery moved to Marlborough and converted its vineyards to 100% certified sustainable farming practices.

Rongopai proudly looks both forwards and backwards to the next vintage of sustainably produced, fresh and vibrant New Zealand wines, and to the expertise gained over a 90-year history as one of New Zealand’s oldest wine brands.

“At Rongopai, we’re dedicated to sustainability,” says Sean Hutchinson, General Manager. “Our winemaking philosophy is one of ‘te kotahitanga,’ the Māori concept of unity and support, in pursuit of a shared goal. Our winemaking team brings together diverse perspectives, experience and knowledge so we’re able to produce a range of wines that are an authentic reflection of our diverse soils and climate.”

The 2022 Rongopai Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $15.99) and Pinot Noir (SRP $24.99) will be available nationally by January 2023.

For more information, please visit the Quintessential website at, or call 707-226-8300.



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