ORANGE F.O.O.D WEEK
Swinging Bridge Wines
With a commanding view of Mount Canobolas (Ghannabulla) at 1395mt high, the Swinging Bridge vineyard and cellar door echos what high altitude winemaking of Orange, NSW is all about. This committed, family-owned vineyard is at the forefront of the new guard of premium, cool-climate winemaking, producing a range of elegant, handcrafted wines that not only reflect their unique provenance, but winemaker Tom Ward’s passion for his home region and his craft.
Swinging Bridge wines is, initially, a tale of two families, the Wards and the Paytens, cousins who have farmed in the Canowindra district since 1867. The name Swinging Bridge refers to the historic wooden footbridge that spans the Belubula River in Canowindra and was situated near the original Swinging Bridge vineyard, first planted with shiraz and chardonnay vines in 1995.
In 2008, having spent many years working as a viticulturalist at Swinging Bridge, and after completing a university course in winemaking, Tom Ward took the reins at Swinging Bridge to make wines under his own label. Always intrigued by the enormous potential afforded by the cool-climate varieties produced in the region, Tom turned his attention to sourcing additional varieties of fruit from selected premium Orange vineyards, including Hillcrest Park, a vineyard planted in 1998 by Peter and Lee Hedberg and located less than 10mins from the Orange town centre.
In 2016 Tom and his wife Georgie and their young family sold and left the Canowindra district and embarked on a new winemaking chapter based in Orange, taking over the Hedberg’s iconic estate. Here, he and his wife, Georgie, now live and run Swinging Bridge, which they consider to be the best site in Orange for chardonnay and pinot noir, and which they renamed Hill Park.
A formidable viticulturalist, winemaker and industry supporter, Tom has a vision for excellence and innovation and has been the driving force behind the progress and development of the Hill Park vineyard and Swinging Bridge cellar door. Tom is a benchmark producer and maker of premium-quality cool-climate wines who is harnessing the very best that the region can offer, by building premium small lots that inspire greatness and resonate a clear focus on fruit quality and vine health.