From left: Proprietor Clarke Swanson, Assistant Winemaker Tony Herrera, Winemaker Emeritus Chris Phelps and Winemaker Robin Akhurst


In pursuit of delicious and pleasurable wines, the Swanson family has brought together a power winemaking trio to continue three-decades of tradition crafting the highest quality wines.

Clarke and Elizabeth welcomed Robin Akhurst to Swanson as head winemaker in April 2015 as Chris Phelps, head winemaker at Swanson since 2003, transitioned to a half-time consulting winemaker role to focus more of his time on family wine projects.

Robin deftly leads the winemaking team, including Assistant Winemaker Tony Herrera, who has been with us for 11 years, and Chris with his new, honorable “Winemaker Emeritus” title. Not only do we have the continuity of our seasoned team, we have a fresh and talented new palate to help guide the Swanson wines to the next level.  Together, they will divide and conquer the many facets of crafting delicious fine wines from our Oakville Estate vineyards and our many long-term grower partners. Marco Capelli continues to make the Swanson Vineyards dessert wines including Angelica, Crepescule and Tardif.

Robin came to Napa Valley in 2009, working with winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown of Outpost and Schrader Cellars. He joined Envy Cellars as winemaker in 2010 where he has made the highly regarded Envy and Carter wines.  A native of Scotland, Robin brings vast international experience from the cellars of New Zealand, France and Australia including Two Hands Winery in Barossa Valley and Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy.  Robin will join us at many of our upcoming club events, and looks forward to meeting all of you.