Dave Phinney is the founder of Orin Swift Cellars. In 1995, Dave moved to Florence to study, where he came into contact with the Italian wine culture. After that, he never looked back. He started as a seasonal worker at Robert Mondavi. One year later, he decided to start his own business and so he founded Orin Swift Cellars in 1998. Orin is his father's middle name and Swift is his mother's maiden name.
Rutherford, California is the home base of the winery. The vineyards are scattered in Rutherford and Oakville. Dave started with a number of Zinfandel vines, but Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Bonarda, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are now also planted. Phinney also works with multiple winegrowers from all over California. These winegrowers sell their grapes to the winery.
Orin Swift's most famous wine is The Prisoner. This is a Zinfandel dominated blend, complemented by Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Bonarda. The Prisoner came on the market in 2003 with only 385 cases. This wine has now grown into a true cult wine! The labels are true works of art. Each label has its own story and inspiration. Sometimes, the idea for the label comes before the wine. Orin Swift's other important wines are Mannequin, Machete and Blank Stare.
To achieve optimum ripeness, the grapes stay on the vine for a relatively long time. The bunches are all vinified separately, so that after fermentation the best blend can be composed, based on different barrels. Before they are bottled, the wines are first aged in barrels for a period of time.
Orin Swift Cellars’ wines are true collector's items. The best vintages are: 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.