Have you taken a sip of Marceline?
This is the new Methode Traditionnelle sparkling wine created by Lauren Swift, the winemaker at Swift Winery.
Marceline is a no-dosage wine with no sugar added and made with blanc de blanc chardonnay grapes.
For Lauren, Marceline is another success in her career as a rising star in the Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand wine world. She made her mark early, when in 2015, aged 27, she won the inaugural New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year Competition.
A former chief winemaker at Ash Ridge wines, Lauren is now running Swift Wines with her husband Henry as well as working part-time with a viticulturist learning how to pressure bomb – “a new state-of-the-art technology for managing your vines with less water”.
Lauren has a distinct winemaking philosophy: “Don’t add if you don’t have to.
“We want to create mindfully grown and made wines with minimal interventions, additions, fining and filtering for maximum varietal expression.”
Not many women aged 32 have their own wine-brand and Lauren is aware many don’t stay in the wine industry at the top level because it doesn’t lend itself to having a life and a family. “It’s a hard industry for women and it’s not a level playing field.
“For a quarter of the year when you’re doing the Vintage it can be seven days a week, twelve hours a day … how do you manage that and a family?”
For now, Lauren is working hard to grow Swift Winery. The company recently achieved national distribution and if Marceline takes off, then who knows what she will produce next.
But one Hawke’s Bay woman who inspires her and she is watching, is indendent winemaker Julianne Brogden of Collaboration Wines. “She makes really good wines. She doesn’t buy into the industry and she is doing her own thing.”