Dave Phinney, Orin Swiff Cellars
Dave Phinney founded Orin Swiff Cellars in 1998, but it wasn’t until 2000 that the success of the prisoner, a Zinfandel blend, enabled Dave to focus on Orin Swiff Cellars full time. The Mercury Head, Veladora, Saldo, Papillon and Palermo labels soon followed, each label demonstrating Dave’s interest in art and his ability to create surprising, unconventional blends that consumers were wanting.Looking for a new wine project, Dave visited Maury in the Roussillon region of France in 2008 after hearing about it from a friend. Amazed by the area’s potential, he made his first wine, a Grenache blend named D66, from the area in 2009.
Joel Gott, Joel Gott Wines
Joel Gott started making wine in 1996 with his first vintage of Dillian Ranch, Amador County Zinfandel under the Joel Gott label. His goal was to make quality, balanced wine for under 20$ a part of the market he felt was under-served. Joel soon realised that the best way to do this was by blending various California appellations, getting the best from each region, instead of focusing on a single one. He later partnered with two friends in 2001 to launch the three thieves, a wine project that allowed him to explore wine branding and packaging, and that eventually took him abroad to Argentina, Chile and Spain to make wine for The Show label, laying the groundwork for further winemaking travels.
Dave Phinney, Joel Gott & Trinchero Family Estate, Shatter
As soon as Dave told Joel about Maury, with its ancient vines struggling on rocky, hillsides of schist, Joel had to go.An area that for years was known only for sweet, port-like wines, Maury was slowly chaging course ; locals and newcomers were beginning to make exceptional, dry wines. When Joel went to Roussillon with Dave, who by then had built a winert in Maury, he was amazed by the incredibly concentrated fruit, capable of creating darker wines than anything else in France, and the terroir, different from anywhere else in California or France.It was an extraordinary opportunity for them to work together, and with Trinchero Family Estate who will import and distribute the wine.