Rugged terrain,

Adventurous Spirit.

Adventurous spirit.

Swiftsure originated from a reverence for New Zealand’s awe-inspiring yet unforgiving Southern landscapes and the world-class wines they produce.

Located in Marlborough & Central Otago, our vineyards are situated at two extremes of the Southern Alps. This majestic mountain range extends 500km from the Northeast to the Southwest along the South Island’s Alpine Fault.


Central Otago


The distinct Southern landscapes we see today are the result of faulting, uplift, erosion, and glaciation over time – forming rugged terrain layered with jagged greywacke rock and ancient schist. Some of the most exceptional wines are crafted from these challenging environments.

At Swiftsure's foundation are carefully selected parcels of these dramatic sub-alpine hillsides and terraces, weathered and chiseled away over the generations.

Like the sure-footed souls that traverse the backbone and swift-flowing rivers of this ruggedly beautiful high country, our adventurous vintners thrive on extremes, producing the purest expression of soil and spirit.


Traditional techniques,

Off-piste approach.

No stranger to challenging conditions, winemaker Duncan McTavish has spent over a decade at the helm of Man O’ War Vineyards - making iconic wines on Waiheke Island, one of NZ’s most unique environments.

As part of a small and passionate team bringing Swiftsure to life, he has relished the opportunity to return to the South where he learned his craft, navigating the contrasting conditions to produce world-class Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Bannockburn Pinot Noir.

Duncan graduated from Canterbury’s Lincoln University in 1999 before completing vintages in France, Germany, Australia and the United States, before finally settling at Man O’ War in 2008.

Acclaimed for his innovative and adventurous winemaking style, Duncan’s thumbprint ensures Swiftsure is a true expression of both soil and spirit, a blend of unconventional thinking and the rugged sub-alpine landscapes where our vineyards lie.

“McTavish is an enthusiast who frequently thinks outside the square to make very individual wines. He is a leader, not a follower”

— Bob Campbell MW

Swiftsure Marlborough.

Swiftsure Sauvignon Blanc is blended from carefully selected sites to capture the essence of Marlborough. Like contrasting combinations of colour, the vivid hues and muted shades of the Marlborough landscape and the tinted waters of both river and sea evoke a sensation of the purity of nature captured within the wine; mineral, fresh, ripe, and delicious.

Our Southern Coast Vineyard is situated in Marlborough’s southernmost sub-region in the shadow of the Kaikoura Ranges.

It’s relatively elevated position and the influence of the cooler coastal climate and sea breeze result in lower yields and concentrated flavours.

Swiftsure Bannockburn.

Single vineyard Pinot Noir crafted from the unforgiving Central Otago landscape.

Great wine is about layers, discrete characters that can be slow to emerge but are the beating pulse of the wine. It requires exploration, fortitude and an innate understanding of the environment to reveal these attributes -taste and structure derived from the width of fruit weight, length of tannin and height of flavour; black fruits, red fruits, schist and garrigue, time reveals all.

Our 5.15-hectare vineyard, exclusively dedicated to Pinot Noir, is situated in the heart of Bannockburn, a small historic gold mining town with desert-like surrounds. The desolate Bannockburn terrain paired with the semi–arid continental climate results in ideal conditions for producing highly distinctive Pinot Noir of great elegance and intensity. Planted on an elevated, north-facing river terrace on the southern banks of the Kawarau River, the land is mineral-rich with glacial deposits of schist, windblown loess, and sandy loam that provides excellent drainage.

Our mascot, the Rock Wren, is endemic to the South Island and found throughout the Southern Alps. These tiny rock bobbers are New Zealand’s only true alpine bird, connecting our vineyards through their natural habitat.