|Color & Type
The Prisoner was created and inspired by the drinkable “mixed blacks” first made by the Italian immigrants who originally settled in the Napa Valley. Launched in 2003, The Prisoner soon became recognized as the most innovative and unique Napa Valley Red Wine blend. It led the resurgence of blends by incorporating Zinfandel with the unlikely “mix” of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Charbono.
The Prisoner features enticing aromas of bing cherry, espresso, and roasted fig. Persistent flavors of ripe raspberry, pomegranate and wild berry linger harmoniously for a smooth and luscious finish.
The history of Orin Swift Cellars began during a “study” abroad trip to Florence in 1995, where founder David Swift Phinney was introduced to wine, how it was made, and got hooked. After graduation, he landed a job as a temporary harvest worker at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1997, which led to his decision to build his own company. In 1998, Phinney founded Orin Swift Cellars, so designated to honor his father’s middle name and his mother’s maiden name.
With two tons of zinfandel and not much else, he spent the next decade making wine for others, as well as for himself, and grew the company into a multinational brand that now includes 300 acres of vineyards in the Southwest of France. This international ambition has led to projects in Spain, Italy, Corsica, Argentina and other locations around the globe.
Most well-known for his iconic The Prisoner, a Zinfandel-based red blend he has since sold to Huneeus Vintners, Orin Swift Cellars produces several other sought-after domestic wines, each with an innovative label or bottle design. These include the cabernet-based Mercury Head, the Bordeaux blend Papillon, and a Chardonnay-based white blend, Machete. His project in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of Southwest France, Department 66, focuses on old-vine Grenache under the D-66 label.