Andrew Wisniewski of Swiftwater Cellars

Swiftwater Cellars winery site was home to the #9 coal mine from 1930 to 1963, which explains the winery’s architectural design.  After passing a screened entrance to the mine, one stands in front of a palatial winery and tasting room reminiscent of a “tipple house”, or structure where coal was loaded for transport.  Because tipple also means to drink alcohol, the design is a perfect embodiment of tasting room and local history.  The Cellars facility owned by Don and Lori Watts houses a lounge and the Hoist House Restaurant where Pacific Northwest cuisine can be paired with fine Swiftwater wines.  The mountain views are stunning, and the surrounding all-season Suncadia Resort provides opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing, fishing, swimming, golfing, spa indulging, concerts, horseback riding, and more. 

Winemaker Andrew Wisniewski grew up drinking wine at family dinners in New York state, but started his wine industry career among the muscadine vines of Florida.  He has since studied winemaking in Oregon, and has experience working in the vineyards and wineries of Australia and New Zealand.  Washington wines have always been among Andrew’s favorites, and the state’s ability to grow so many diverse varietals well led him to accept the assistant winemaker position at Swiftwater in 2013, and the head winemaker position two years later.  Describing himself as an “old soul millennial,” Andrew talks in this interview about how he plans to cultivate a wine culture among millenials, what is special about Swiftwater’s estate vineyard Zephyr Ridge, some advantages about wine on tap in the tasting room, and much more.     

Listen to the Interview: