Lauren Swift

Lauren Swift

It seems wine making was invented specifically for a person like Lauren. Her formative years were spent in and out of the vineyards around her native Marlborough home, working as such places as Clos Henri, and Oyster Bay.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Wine Science and Diploma of Wine Marketing at the Eastern Institute of Technology in 2012, Lauren worked at a local winery for the 2013 vintage, making the Ash Ridge wines offsite. The 2013 Ash Ridge Estate Merlot, which Lauren made just three months after graduating, won a trophy at the Hawke’s Bay show and Ash Ridge itself was named Best Winery at the show in 2014.

With the completion of Ash Ridge’s new winery ready for the 2014 vintage, Lauren took over as chief winemaker and has been putting her considerable talents to use developing Ash Ridge wines to the next level.

“Making wine is such a creative process, it’s like art,” she says. “Being in the wine industry means you meet lots of people and there’s great flexibility to travel, so it ticks a lot of boxes for me.”

In August 2015, Lauren was named New Zealand’s Young Winemaker of the Year following a three-day contest that pitted her against the winners of regional contests in central Otago and Marlborough. Soon we will need a bigger trophy cabinet!