A Vision for Excellence
TOM WARD | Winemaker | Viticulturist
Our winemaker and Swinging Bridge owner, Tom Ward, is a passionate viticulturist and
winemaker, dedicated to producing quality cool-climate wines. Originally from Canowindra, Tom comes from a farming family spanning more than 150-years which led him to discover his passion for viticulture.
Now based in Orange with his wife Georgie and two children, Eliza and William, you will often find Tom tending to his vines, working hard in the winery or
supporting operations in the cellar door.
For six years, Tom was president of the NSW Wine Industry Association, which brought
many opportunities to engage Swinging Bridge with the broader industry. For Tom, giving
back to the industry was just as important as establishing his own business, as well as
supporting the local community of Orange. Tom still sits on the local executive for the
Orange Regional Vignerons Association, is the Chairman of the Orange Chamber Music
Festival and is on the board for Orange 360.
“I’ve always been part of the sharing of this industry – it’s an important part of the learning experience and collaboration is what evolves the Australian wine community.”
RHYS BAKER – DipWSET | General Manager | Sommelier
Not every cellar door can boast it has its own on-staff sommelier, therefore we are grateful for the expertise and enthusiasm that our general manager Rhys Baker brings to his role at Swinging Bridge.
Rhys has recently completed his WSET IV diploma and has over 12 years of experience in hospitality. Rhys’ hard work studying, tasting and analysing wines from all over the world does not go unnoticed.
Originally from the area, he gained experience working as a Sommelier in Sydney and Melbourne before returning in June of 2020 and joining the Swinging Bridge team. Rhys’ experience as a Sommelier allows him to provide guests with in-depth and detailed information regarding both Swinging Bridge Wines and the art of wine in general, so don’t be afraid to test his knowledge at your next tasting!
WIL ARNOLD – WSET III | Cellar Door Manager | Wholesale
Our Cellar door manager Wil Arnold brings an impressive knowledge and love for wine to his
role at Swinging Bridge. Originally from Penrith, Wil started with us in March of 2022 after moving to Orange with his partner Laura, a viticulture student also working within the Orange Wine Region.
Wil is qualified with his WSET III and has experience in a number of different avenues, including time spent playing golf at a high level around Australia and a Student-Athlete in America. He has now turned his attention to the wine industry, leading our cellar door team to ensure that each guest that visits Swinging Bridge has an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Dave Wright | Chef
Dave Wright is our in-house Chef and the mastermind behind our Savour and Indulge experiences that we offer at our Cellar Door.
Dave boasts an impressive resume, working in several hatted restaurants around Sydney, even owning his own restaurant and cafe. Dave eventually moved to Orange with his wife and three children, and has a passion for showcasing the regions well-renowned, fresh, local produce.
Dave’s expertise has been a fantastic addition to the range of experiences at Swinging Bridge, as he aims to create spectacular pairing which enhances our cool-climate wines. Book a Savour or Indulge tasting today to enjoy Dave’s incredible creations!
JEMIMA PESTELL – WSET I | Cellar Door Assistant
All the way from the United Kingdom, Jemima Pestell brings a world of wine knowledge and professionalism to Swinging Bridge as our newest Cellar Door sommelier.
Jemima, a hospitality professional, has been a team-member at some of the world best restaurants across England, Scotland and the Netherlands, before venturing to sunny Sydney where she took a position as a sommelier at the highly-regarded Quay restaurant.
She has now come to Swinging Bridge, where her knowledge and passion for wine can be shared with guests in the Cellar Door. Enjoy a tasting with some English flare next time you are visiting, and enjoy the well-travelled view on wine that Jemima has to offer!
ELIZA WARD – WSET II | Social Media Manager | Cellar Door Assistant
You may recognise the name from our Eliza Riesling, and now you can put a name to the face. Meet Eliza, Tom’s eldest daughter, and Swinging Bridge’s newest social media manager and cellar door assistant. Eliza is currently taking a gap year, and is very eager to grow her wine knowledge and understanding of the cellar door day to day operations.
Discover the story of Swinging Bridge through Eliza’s eyes, and enjoy a relaxed tasting with her bubbly and charismatic personality and a number of our cool-climate varieties.
Eliza is planning on attending University in Canberra next year to study International Relations, and we might just try our luck to convert her to the wine industry, but most likely won’t win her over. However, she will always be keen to come home and help her father and the Swinging Bridge team out, whether it is in the vineyard, the winery or welcoming familiar and new faces at the cellar door.
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