Apr 27, 2022
Orin Swift is an ultra premium wine brand with a fascinating back story. It's a story that begins and continues with Dave Phinney, one of the finest wine innovators around. His vision is extraordinary and his wines are equal to his vision. They are the epitome of what 'unique' and 'original' are - all wrapped into bottles whose labels would not be amiss in an exhibition at the Tate or at our own IMMA.
Dave Phinney's first venture into wine was at the very bottom rung of a harvest with Mondavi in 1997. A year later he bought a load of premium Napa grapes without a clear vision of what he was going to make with them. He incorporated Orin Swift Cellars (a blend of family names) and made 'The Prisoner' (a unique and captivating blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Charbono). Dave likes blends! It was a runaway success. So much so that the brand was sold in 2008 for a sizable return.
Currently Dave Phinney makes a range of wines under the Orin Swift label - a brand he successfully sold to E&J Gallo in 2016 - owns vineyards in four countries, makes the Locations Wines label (fruit and labels from France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, California, Oregon, Washington, Corsica, Portugal, New Zealand, Texas ....) and has a simply brilliant looking new distillery Savage&Cooke in California where he makes Tequila, Bourbon and Rye whiskey (from Daves own pure water spring in the Alexander Valley!)
Enough! This podcast is Dave Phinney generously telling us the story of Orin Swift - owned by E&J Gallo and made by the insanely gifted Dave Phinney. Enjoy.