He had travelled the world, and natural history collectors continue to admire his books and folios of birds, butterflies, and tropical shells. And his drawings of early Wellington landscapes and dwellings created a valuable historical record of the area.
For Denis Marshall, Swainson’s artwork is more than pretty pictures. As one of his descendants Denis inherited the same love for the natural world. While Swainson recorded nature, Denis works to conserve and protect this precious natural environment, much of which is now under threat in the modern world.
That’s why, when Denis and Ulrike settled in Gibbston, it was only fitting to choose the name of William Swainson’s first home in New Zealand for their vineyard. Now the original drawing of the cottage rests proudly on the Hawkshead Single Vineyard Pinot Noir label.
The influence of Swainson’s passion for nature does not stop there, with drawings from his collections of beautiful North and South American birds now featuring on the Hawkshead Riesling, Pinot Gris and Rosé labels also.