Swinney: Australian wine like no other

SwinneyIt all started with a few vines. Matt Swinney saw an opportunity where his ancestors simply saw farmland. Frankland River, where he planted his vines, is one of the most remote agricultural areas in Western Australia. A series of in-depth studies on these soils where crops had grown for decades showed that vines would flourish. So in the mid 1990s, Matt took the plunge and established vineyards.


And what a journey this family has had since then. Swinney was named as one of James Halliday’s “Top Ten new wineries” in the 2015 Australian Wine Companion. These wines are also poured in top Australian restaurants like Catalina in Sydney and Cutler & Co in Melbourne, giving Matt a sense of satisfaction, having come this far since the original soil studies.

The varieties and blends at Swinney are where the family has the edge. The climate in Frankland River is closer to some of the top European vineyards than any other Western Australian winery. Frost and sea breezes, rather than blistering heat, are the challenges faced by Matt and his team. This climate suits aromatic varieties and brings out the best in their Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer all take pride of place at Swinney. These three form the white Ingenue Tirra Lirra blend. It’s an ingenious wine, with the kind of aromatic profile you’d expect from top class German examples. And that’s before you get to the stunning reds. Like the whites, it all starts in the vineyard.

With the only bush vine Tempranillo and Grenache in Western Australia, these vineyards show just how differently Matt and his team operates compared to their neighbours. You might not expect to find bush vines in this cool part of Australia, but the quality of the Ingenue Tirra Lirra red blend shows that it’s worth it.

As one of the most sustainable vineyards in the region, these are incredibly healthy vines, with natural actions always tried first. That’s why you’ll see a herd of sheep patrolling the vineyards. They have a particular fondness for the weeds that can grow around the vines. And the guinea fowl make sure the insects don’t get out of control. It’s all part of Matt’s knowledge of the region. His family have farmed there for 100 years for good reason: they understand the land better than anyone else.

9th September 2015

Company No. 2550982 | 109a Regents Park Road London NW1 8UR | Call: 0845 263 6924 | AWRS Number: XVAW00000101595

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