The new Californian wine brand that you need to know about

Introducing a unique boutique Californian wine brand with a whole lot of personality

Updated on 10 April 2019

The new Californian wine brand that you need to know about

If you've found yourself in search of a new tipple, allow us to introduce Orin Swift: a unique boutique Californian wine brand with a whole lot of personality.

Dave Phinney isn’t your average winemaker. Described by those who know him as simultaneously laid-back and intense, he’s also creative, eclectic and one-of-a-kind – much like the visionary, new wave Californian wines he makes under his celebrated Orin Swift label, which are now available in the UK.

So what makes Orin Swift stand out from the crowd? Phinney’s philosophy is simple: find the best grapes, let them ripen fully, then express the profile of the fruit in the boldest way possible. It’s a whole new direction for Californian wine.

The originality doesn’t end there; every Orin Swift wine also has a creative concept and utterly eye-catching label. Here’s Mannequin, with its striking photo of shop mannequins, and Mercury Head, each bottle decorated with a rare Mercury Head dime coin. Phinney spent years sourcing those coins, and fans now chip them off the bottle and post them back so that he has a constant supply for future vintages.

Phinney’s labels have been inspired by everything from a word scratched into the side of a car to hip-hop lyrics – and, thanks to approachable prices, his concept of wine as art has won legions of admirers.

“Orin Swift wines are amazing quality for the price,” says Stefano Pasqual, head sommelier at Maze Grill Mayfair. “We list Orin Swift Palermo, a Napa Valley Bordeaux blend, which is great with our charcoal-grilled steaks – and an amazing alternative to the usual Argentinian Malbec. The labels are the most beautifully designed on our whole wine list.”

Top US critic Robert Parker adds: “Dave Phinney’s Midas touch with grapes from seemingly anywhere in the world is unusual, but the brilliance of the wines, his creativeness and unparalleled blending talents have built an incredible portfolio…People looking for personality-filled wines of considerable character and complexity need to check out the Orin Swift off erings.”

Meet the Orin Swift range

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Sauvignon Blanc with a tiny amount of Muscadet; fresh and fruity white with juicy acidity.

A bold Chardonnay offering flavours of ripe peaches, nectarines, pineapple and honey.

A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah from vineyards across California.

Petite Sirah with notes of blackberry compote, dark plums, ripe fi gs and cherry.

Mercury Head
A complex Cabernet Sauvignon with notes of cassis, spice, toffee and coffee beans.

Cabernet Sauvignon-led, a dark fruit palate with smooth minerality.

A velvety blend of six red grapes with dark plum, blueberry and black cherry.

Silky Pinot Noir with ripe cherry and raspberry, and fresh acidity.

To find out more about Orin Swift, visit

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