Featured Winery July 2023 – Swift Wines

Swift Wines are new generation classics – mindfully grown & mindfully made to inspire conversation & connection. They produce vibrant, expressive, thought-provoking wines that make life more fun.

Crowned the inaugural ‘NZ’s Young Winemaker of the Year’ at just 25, Lauren Swift has spent the majority of her life obsessing over grapes in their various forms. Growing up on an orchard in Marlborough, her first job was learning the fundamentals of grape growing (and picking – there was lots of picking) on a neighbouring vineyard.

Swift Wine team Lauren and Henry, their little boy Finn and sausage dogs.
Lauren and Henry, their little boy Finn and sausage dogs.

A post-school European gap year was the push she needed to get her winemaking career off the ground, returning home to Marlborough for a role at Clos Henri Vineyard (owned by the illustrious Bourgeois family from Sancerre). A Bachelor of Wine Science at Hawke’s Bay’s EIT later, Lauren joined the Ash Ridge team and found herself heading up their brand new winery.

Throw in some more travel, including vintages in California & the Rhone Valley, and the time was finally right to go out on her own. Lauren persuaded husband Henry to join the team, and together they officially popped the cork on Swift Wines in 2016.

Lauren & Henry didn’t have all the answers, but they did have a dream and the determination to make it happen. They’re big believers in working hard & playing harder. And that juggling the beautiful chaos of family/business life is much more fun with a wine glass in hand.

“Thoughtful, dangerously drinkable, and thought provoking. No boring wines (or boring wine labels) here!”


Some of your wines are pretty out there… how do you come up with these ideas?

“Aw thanks —pushing the boundaries of wine-making innovation is fun. We get our ideas from research, traveling, years of experience making wine in New Zealand and overseas, and of course passionately taste testing as many wines as we can (ideally with a group of friends over yummy food!). As much as we enjoy exploring all the wild ideas, we never release a wine we don’t back 100%. At the end of the day we make wines that people love to drink. If it’s not setting our world on fire, it’s probably not going to set yours on fire either. So it’s back to the drawing board.”


All About Minimal Intervention

Their mindful growing approach means their wines are a true representation of where they’ve come from. Capturing this unique sense of place & vintage means doing things by taste, feel and intuition, and being present at every stage of the journey. They know it sounds a little ‘woo’, but honouring the land and following the grapes’ cues hasn’t failed them yet.

Forever Experimenting

NZ is known for its sauvs, but they prefer the experimental varieties that let them flex their creativity. Inspired by wines they’ve experienced on their travels (as well as wines shared with friends over the years – they love to entertain), they use a mix of old world techniques & modern innovation to create contemporary classics that have a distinct energy. One that dances on the palette…and makes you want to dance too!

True To Their Values

Creating a sense of connection, community & celebration is a big part of the Swift ethos — it’s why people love wine in the first place. A good vino has the power to bring us together to talk, share stories, make memories and take a moment to enjoy this hectic thing we call life. Every day is a celebration of something, so let’s bring out the good wine.

The Portfolio

Swift Wines produce a wide range of wines from the following varieties: Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Gamay Noir, Malbec and Syrah – plus a Chardonnay ‘Blanc de Blanc’ Sparkling, a Gamay Blanc de Noir and of course what line up would not be complete without a Syrah Rose. Also some Albariño in the making!

“Came for the whole bunch Syrah, stayed for the juicy juicy light reds! Lauren & Henry’s wines are simply delicious, enough said. Great wines from great people.”

Lachlan M
Swift Wines Bottle Shot

To find out more the Swift family and purchase some of their wines visit and explore their recently launched, brand new website at: https://www.swiftwines.co.nz/

Swift Wines Logo Link

JB’s Tasting Notes

Swift Wines Cabernet Franc 2022, Bridge Pa Triangle Hawke’s Bay NZ
The last of 5 excellent wines from Lauren Swift – Translucent red-cherry coloured, medium bodied – green leaf, smoky & savoury aromas in the nose, while the palate delivers flavours of red berry & plum, a bright acid backbone, dusty tannins & savoury earthy elements. Very tasty dry red with great length. Grapes hand picked, foot pressed, natural ferment, 8 months in neutral oak. Excellent.

Swift Wines Whole Bunch Syrah 2020, Bridge Pa Triangle, Hawke’s Bay NZ
Deep cherry / ruby red in colour to the rim – Wonderfully fragrant nose of juicy plum, dark berry fruit aromas, warm spice notes & a little hint of white pepper. Big full-bodied grunty – weighty palate with grippy chalky tannins and a crunchy acidity, loads of rich dark fruit. plum, cherry & berry flavours, subtle oak – textured, complex, beautifully integrated wine, intense warming finish that just carries on for ever!

Swift Wines ‘Whole Bunch’ Gamay Noir 2022, Maraekakaho Hawke’s Bay, NZ
Bright translucent ‘raspberry red’ coloured, lighter at the rim. A touch of savoury ‘earth’ then floral notes & sweet strawberry / raspberry fruit aromas on the nose. Medium bodied, it has succulent strawberry, raspberry & red plum fruit flavours on the palate, powdery tannins & a grippy acidity all coming together in a long dry finish. Serving chilled recommended but I tasted at ambient room temp. Not much Gamay Noir produced in NZ – We should grow more, this is great!

Swift Wines ‘Whole Bunch’ Chardonnay 2021, Bridge Pa Triangle, Hawke’s Bay, NZ
Light lemon in colour with golden hues, medium bodied wine. A hint of struck match initially then ripe peach / nectarine / citrus & nutty oak aromas in the nose. The palate has delicious peach, green apple & grapefruit flavours, a crisp zesty acidity and lovely fine silky / creamy mouthfeel with nutty oak textural elements. A long dry concentrated fruit driven finish. Absolutely Delicious.

Swift Wines Chenin Blanc 2022 ‘Bridge Pa Triangle’ Hawke’s Bay NZ
Pale clear straw, almost colourless wine, medium bodied with ‘great legs!’ Fragrant nose with floral, smoky / flint, citrus & green apple aromas. The palate has concentrated juicy citrus & apple flavours reflecting the nose, a crunchy acid backbone & a fine gritty minerality all adding texture & complexity – long bone-dry yet intensely juicy finish. A most excellent & delicious dry white – New Zealand should grow more Chenin Blanc!

If you would like to be considered for Featured Winery of the Month, contact JB : https://nzwinedirectory.co.nz/about/contact/

Share This Page / Post