The Swift story so far…
Hello, we’re Lauren and Henry and we are Swift Wines. We’re husband and wife, business partners, drinking buddies and parents of two miniature sausage dogs Florentine and Marceline.
Lauren is our Winemaker and she started Swift Wines with Henry in 2016 as a passion project to complement her role as Chief Winemaker at Ash Ridge. Lauren grew up on an apple orchard in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley and spent her summer holidays working on neighbouring vineyards and learning the fundamentals of grape growing. However, it wasn’t until her European gap year adventure after she finished school that she decided that the wine industry might be for her. Her epiphany came while sipping a local “juice box” style wine in Italy and the rest, as they say, is history!
When she returned to Marlborough, Lauren landed a job at Clos Henri. This vineyard, owned by the illustrious Bourgeois family from Sancerre, was where Lauren gained a new appreciation for working the land and where she witnessed first-hand that great wines truly are made in the vineyard. In 2009, Lauren moved up to Hawke’s Bay to study the Bachelor of Wine Science at EIT. At the end of her studies, she got a summer job working in the cellar door and vineyard for Ash Ridge and has worked there ever since.
In 2015, Lauren won the inaugural New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year competition and
Henry wears many different hats for Swift Wines, heading up our social media, packaging and labelling, to name a few. By day, he runs a viticultural machinery contracting business.
Henry is from Temuka, near Timaru. For several years, he worked seasonally for Fonterra, driving milk tankers and then would spend New Zealand winters in the UK driving combine harvesters and sampling local ciders!
Lauren and Henry matched on Tinder in December 2013 when Lauren was down south visiting family for Christmas and it was love at first swipe. After doing the long-distance thing for just over a year, Henry packed up his life in Canterbury and moved to Hawke’s Bay. He worked for Fonterra up in the Bay and also as a petrol tanker driver before switching gears and starting Arch Contracting in 2020.
Over the years, there have been countless wines, many vinous adventures at home and away, vintages in California and the Rhone Valley, several house purchases and sales, a light sprinkling of renovations and a wonderful wedding. Swift Wines are shaped by our experiences and travels, are inspired by thought-provoking wines and are expressive of their place, the vintage and, ultimately, of us.
Our winemaking philosophy is simple; mindfully grown and made wines. Minimal interventions, additions, fining and filtering for maximum varietal expression. We make wines that we want to drink, wines that inspire discussion and wines that we are proud to put our name on.
Drink well, Lauren and Henry x