Swanson Vineyards

About

Premium napa-based wine producer with vineyards in oakville and tasting salon in rutherford. We ensure that the potential of our vineyards is captured and reflected in our wines.

Location Description

Located in the heart of Rutherford, California.

Features

  • Memorable wines.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
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  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Winemaker

Robin Akhurst's road to Napa took him around the globe through eight consecutive and exhausting harvests, picking up an impressive list of mentors along the way. He joined the Swanson Vineyards family in 2015, its thirtieth year, to lead a winemaking team poised to propel Swanson through its next thirty.

A native of Scotland, Robin graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in environmental sciences. What started as a casual interest in wine soon became a passion and following graduation, he took a job as a sommelier in one of Edinburgh's most forward thinking wine-focused restaurants. Fate then took him to London to work for one of the city's leading independent wine merchants, gaining additional on-the-floor experience selecting, selling and sampling wines from all over the world.

With a desire to get closer to the agricultural aspects of winegrowing, he moved to New Zealand and received a graduate degree in viticulture and enology from Lincoln University in Christchurch. He worked two harvests in Marlborough before continuing his international winemaking road trip, gaining experience which included working at Burgundy's famed Domaine Leflaive as well as in Australia's Barossa Valley with Two Hands Winery.

A fortunate suggestion from Michael Twelftree of Two Hands Wines led Robin to accept a harvest position in Napa valley with Thomas Rivers-Brown in 2009, working with the team at Outpost Wines on Howell Mountain. Under Thomas's guidance, he learned the craft of creating iconic wines including Schrader Cellars, Maybach and River's Marie. Following harvest, Robin took a position to direct the production team at Envy Wines, a winery and custom-crush project established by partners Nils Venge and Mark Carter. For four years, Robin crafted the Envy wines and worked alongside Mike Smith as assistant winemaker for Carter Cellars.

Swanson's reputation provided sufficient appeal for him to make a move to join the team. Working closely with the grape grower's for Swanson is very exciting. The winery has a long-standing reputation for classical Bordeaux-styled wines with great finesse, character and elegance. It's a privilege to work here, he says.

Although free time is something Robin's not too familiar with, when he gets a chance, he enjoys spending time with his wife Aneeta, playing guitar, cycling and soaking in all of the cultural offerings provided by Bay Area living.

History

For more than half a century, the Swanson name has been recognized primarily for frozen food products, as in the famous TV dinners the family launched in 1953, which, at that time, was a groundbreaking innovation in the food business.Twenty-five years ago, the Swanson family chartered another innovative course, this time into the world of wine. Commencing in the mid-1980’s, they were one of the earliest producers of Napa Valley Merlot. Today, while its wines are extraordinary, the mission of Swanson Vineyards is straightforward: to celebrate the simple pleasures in life, made better with wine.

The Swanson Vineyards story began in the summer of 1985, when W. Clarke Swanson, Jr. purchased a 100-acre property on Oakville Cross Road in the heart of Napa Valley. He was fortunate to obtain the services of André Tchelistcheff, one of the 20th century’s most sought-after winemakers, as a consultant, and, in the bold business style long associated with the Swanson name, planted Merlot in the heart of Cabernet Sauvignon country. As the risk paid off with excellent, well-received wine (a “Cab-lover’s Merlot”), the Swansons, together with their winemaking team, continued to experiment, planting other lesser-known varietals such as Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, Semillon and Pinot Grigio.

Practices & Techniques

Certified as sustainably farmed by Fish Friendly Farming, Swanson Vineyards' wines owe their wonderful aromas, flavors and complexities to the soil and vineyard management. The vines are nurtured by the use of spacing, and trellis systems all selected to parallel the capabilities of the soil.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Swanson Vineyards’ alluvial soils are part of geologic history dating back to the formation of Napa Valley where frequent flooding of the Napa River over the millennia laid down clay loam sediment. It is here in the heart of Oakville that our 100 acres produce wines of great elegance and finesse.

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Hours

Wednesday - Monday, 11:00am, 1:30pm, or 4pm

Address

1271 Manley Lane
Rutherford, California 94573
United States

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