Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel
The Previous Vintage called outstanding and a classic by Robert Parker. The newly released 2013 SALDO is voluptuous, focused and full-bodied. Its Prisoner Wine Companys most delicious Saldo yet.
Gleaned from some of Californias most celebrated Zinfandel Vineyards including Teldeschi, Grist , Bedrock and Tofanelli, the 2013 Saldo is superb.
A stand-out favorite at this years ZAP event , the Prisoners SALDO is also poured at many of the countrys top restaurants. At $30.99/btl, SALDO delivers exceptional quality, and Zinfandel fans will be enthralled with the quality of the 2013 release!
Ground Shipping Included on ANY Mixed 15 bottle Case to some States
Transforming Art Into Space
The original label came from a Francisco Goya etching Phinneys parents gave him as a child. The image is that of a near-faceless bearded man who is chained and shackled within a dim cell, the only light streaming in from somewhere above.
This was a dream project, said Matt Hollis of San Franciscos MH Architects, who led the renovation project. They came to us and showed us the label and told us to be inspired by the Goya painting thats not what you normally hear from a client. And Goya is amazing because of his use of natural light, and so we used that theme throughout.
The reimagined winery transformed what had been the dark-wood and cellarlike interior into one where every room has light pouring in from above. Most wineries in the Napa Valley prefer large windows that look outside at vineyards and mountains at the ground level, but the previous occupant had blocked the vineyard views with a parking lot on one side and a winery facility on the other. Enormous skylights were cut into the ceilings, which required iron trusses, adding to what the designers call refurbished industrial.
The Prisoner Wine Co. interior designer, Napas Richard Von Saal, designed the newly opened winery in south St. Helena to be a reflective space.
Before guests can enter the interior spaces they approach the dark-gray building by passing under a black circus-tent-looking canopy that has replaced the demolished grand Franciscan water fountain.
The Brand Works With Over 100 Growers Throughout California
The brand doesnt have a single vineyard where it grows its grapes. Instead, to source grapes for its blends, the brand turns to a variety of small-scale producers in California who grow unique varietals. The brand is constantly fostering new relationships with vintners across the state, meaning its network of 100 growers will likely continue to grow.
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It Went Viral Before Going Viral Was A Thing
When The Prisoner was first released in 2000, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram had not yet been invented. Yet the Zinfandel-heavy red blend, with its creepy yet Instagrammable label, became wildly popular in Napa and beyond. Back then, dark labels like The Prisoners werent done, and most winemakers focused on single-grape varietals, making a red blend like The Prisoner unconventional for multiple reasons. Within 10 years, the brand was sold to Huneeus Vintners. In 2016, it was again sold to Constellation Brands, a major beverage conglomerate.
Dave Phinney Doesnt Follow The Flock Having Dreamt Of Becoming A Lawyer He Had His Head Turned By Wine During A Semester In Italy In The Mid 90s And Never Looked Back
After working a harvest at Robert Mondavi and planting experimental blocks of Zinfandel in Arizona, in 1997 Phinney began developing his debut wine brand, The Prisoner, a blend of California Zinfandel, Cabernet and Petite Sirah that rocketed to success shortly after it launched.
Featuring a Goya etching on the label, Phinney made just 385 cases of the inaugural 2000 vintage. Eight years later he had grown The Prisoner into an 85,000-case brand.
Keen not to be shackled by its success, Phinney sold The Prisoner in 2008 to concentrate on his boutique brand, Orin Swift, named after his fathers middle name and mothers maiden name.
Focusing on Rhône-style blends, Napa Cabernets and old vine Grenache, Phinney buys grapes from over 100 vineyard sites across California for his Orin Swift wines, which are unashamedly bold in colour, body and character.
Many of the wines are made from a mash up of grapes, including lesser-known varieties like Charbono. Phinneys winemaking philosophy is simple: to find the best grapes he can get his hands on, let them hang long enough to become perfectly ripe, then express their character in the boldest way possible.
His quirky labels have helped propel Orin Swift to cult status in the US. Charmed by both the wines and their maker, in the summer of 2016, E& J Gallo snapped up Orin Swift, now a 100,000-case brand, as part of its premium push.
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Pick Your Poison: Chains Or A Skeleton
An interior shot of the new Prisoner winery in St. Helena.
Entering the main tasting area is as if youve entered the mansion of a turn-of-the-century steampunk bachelor. The space is replete with mirrors, dangling metal shackles, concrete floors and reclaimed wooden paneled walls. The fireplace is piled high with balls and chains. Guests might prefer to sit outside where the space remains walled but with an open view of the sky.
Visitors have a variety of options, each bringing different levels of experiences and ranging from $45 to the yet-to-launch $300 experience). Most guests will opt for the lineup tasting , where they might enjoy five wines to taste along with a plate of house-made crackers and a dip of wonderfully smoky roasted eggplant.
Paying $65 provides guests with a guided tour through the vineyard and culinary garden and access to a wing of the building that holds what they call the makery. This is essentially a long hall lined with shops where a rotating series of local merchants and artisans display and sell their wares. A graphite skeleton here lies on a vibrating table so it can draw designs with its bones.
It Was Inspired By A Sketch From The 1800s
The Prisoner Wine Company based its entire brand mission on a single sketch from the 1800s drawn by Spanish artist Francisco de Goya. The sketch, which was given to Phinney as a gift from his parents at age 12, served as a visual protest against the injustice and brutality of the Spanish War of Independence. The Prisoner Wine Company continues to be inspired by the drawing, using it as a constant reminder to never be complacent or restricted by rules and traditions.
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The Prisoner Wine Company
The Prisoner Wine Companys eponymous first wine was inspired by the drinkable mixed blacks made by the Italian immigrants who originally settled in Napa Valley. Since launch, The Prisoner soon became recognized as one of the most innovative Napa Valley wines, leading the resurgence of California red blends and earning cult wine status. Now complemented by a white blend , Chardonnay , Cabernet Sauvignon , Zinfandel , Merlot and a Red Blend , The Prisoner Wine Companys winemaking philosophy remains the same: To collaborate with a family of growers throughout Californias best winegrowing regions to craft wines of exceptional quality and unexpected character.
The Prisoner Wine Company acquires grapes from more than 100 vineyards throughout Californias premier grape-growing regions, partnering with phenomenal growers who are dedicated to cultivating unique varieties. Chrissy Wittmann and her team of winemakers collaborate with this family of growers, visiting each vineyard site throughout the year to carefully assess the style and quality of every lot to make the best possible wine from each vintage.
Cuttings Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Winery Notes: Cuttings combines the deep, intense flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon with the structure and richness of Petite Sirah and Syrah. A small amount of Zinfandel adds a nice layer of complexity and spiciness. Deliciously smooth with flavors of blueberry, dark cherry, and cocoa. Aromas of fresh roasted coffee, black currant, vanilla bean, brown spice, and wild berries.
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Pick Your Poison: Chains Or A Skeleton: The Prisoner Winery Opens
- Tim Carl
The Prisoner Wine Co. architect, Matt Hollis of San Franciscos MH Architects, was inspired while redesigning the newly opened winery in south St. Helena to highlight the natural light used on the first Prisoner label.
- Tim Carl Photography
Chefs at the new Prisoner winery prepare food with wine tastings that rivals some of the finest restaurants in the Napa Valley. This plate of A5 Wagyu beef is served with a dusting of pickled lime Gomashio and slivered scallion and paired with the Headlock Charbono.
- Tim Carl Photography
Napas newest winery just opened, and it is a game-changer bringing both opportunities and omens. In what had been the Franciscan Estate Winery just south of St. Helena is now a renovated and reimagined winery concept The Prisoner Wine Co. Based on the widely popular wine brand, The Prisoner, this new addition to the valleys landscape could become one of the go-to destinations for a new breed of Napa Valley visitors looking for something new and fresh with a decidedly hip-urban sensibility.
Prisoner Wine Company Blindfold
The Prisoner Wine Company is a Northern California wine producer that has always intrigued me. Thats because they make such intriguing wines. But I always find their marketing and their commitment to social justice fascinating.
According to the winemakers, Our brand name and namesake wine, The Prisoner, were inspired by the classic sketch Le Petit Prisonier by 19th century Spanish artist Francisco Goya. The sketch is part of Goyas series entitled, The Disasters of War, created to be a visual protest against the injustice and brutality of the Spanish War of Independence in 1808. From our founding, The Prisoner Wine Company has stood in solidarity with the fight against racism, mass incarceration and the systematic oppression of Black communities. We are committed to educating ourselves, embracing diversity and creating an inclusive environment where all our employees and business partners feel safe, respected and valued.
Director of Winemaking Chrissy Wittmann describes Prisoner Wine Company wines as rule-bending blends, which they are. Im especially fond of a white wine blend called Blindfold . The Prisoner Wine Company works with more than 100 growers in Northern California and this particular wine Blindfold is a provocative blend with a Chardonnay base and aromatic additions of Viognier, Roussanne and Muscat.
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THIS CONTENT IS FROM UTAH BITES NEWSLETTER.
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Things You Should Know About The Prisoner Wine Company
Born in Rutherford, Napa Valley, The Prisoner began as a little-known red blend, created by winemaker Dave Phinney in 2000, but the brand quickly garnered a huge fan base, becoming famous for its untraditional label and style.
Following the sale of the brand to Constellation, what used to be The Prisoner the aforementioned red blend has become The Prisoner Wine Company, a winery brand that now offers its flagship label, plus 13 other varieties.
Want to know more about the unconventional wine brand? Read on for 10 things you should know about The Prisoner Wine Company.
Why Is It Called The Prisoner Wine Company
4.1/5Prisoner Wine Companynamedwinewine
Likewise, people ask, who makes the prisoner wine?
Constellation Brands, one of the world’s largest wine companies, is investing big in California red blends, buying the brands of The Prisoner Wine Company from Huneeus Vintners. The portfolio includes five brands: superstar blend The Prisoner, as well as Saldo, Cuttings, Blindfold and Thorn.
Secondly, what type of wine is the prisoner? The Prisoner is now the most recognized Napa Valley red blend, leading the resurgence of interesting blends by incorporating Zinfandel with the unlikely mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Charbono.
Considering this, does Orin Swift own prisoner?
Orin Swift Cellars. When you combine excellent wines with creative labeling you are bound to grow fast and now his full time job is with Orin Swift. The Prisoner label was their flagship wine .
Why did Orin Swift sell the prisoner?
Eight years later he had grown The Prisoner into an 85,000-case brand. Keen not to be shackled by its success, Phinney sold The Prisoner in 2008 to concentrate on his boutique brand, Orin Swift, named after his father’s middle name and mother’s maiden name.
So here are the top red wine brands, in no particular order.
- #1: Italian Chianti.
- #3: German Spatburgunder
- #4: Californian Zinfandel.
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What’s A Good Red Blend Wine
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Aparicio Sutter Creek Region Amador
Originally planted from 1980-81 by Joe Aparicio, the Goblet style vineyard perfectly performs year after year. This old-world pruning style allows the grapes to hang freely, get ample air flow, and bathe in perfectly filtered light. Extremely unique soils for this region, its bright red and rocky soil holds a rich volcanic history.
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The Evolving Napa Valley
At the opening ceremony for TPWCo, Linda Reiff, president and CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners, used the word evolution three times as she described the launch of the new winery. Highlighting the juxtaposition of Constellation having initially purchased the Robert Mondavi Winery in 2004 just a few miles south and now launching a new-concept winery in 2018, she expressed hope that this might encourage new and younger visitors to find their way to the Napa Valley.
The analogy was appropriate to highlight one of the more concerning elements of the winerys opening. Whereas Mondavi was an advocate for the Napa Valley as a special place, Constellations TPWCo is nearly wholly focused on the Prisoner brand.
Yes, there are Napa Valley wines in the portfolio. But as soon as visitors enter the building, nearly anything related to the Napa Valley disappears from view. The designers were tasked with centering the renovation not on the geography and natural beauty of where it was started, but instead on an etching that was drawn by a European artist nearly 200 years ago.
The three wines that are not made in the Napa Valley are treated with the same reverence as those that are, suggesting that a wine from a host of vineyards strewn across the state are just about the same as wines from a single place.
An aerial view of the new Prisoner winery in St. Helena.
How Constellation Brands Is Embracing Consumer Trends
by Cyril Penn
Robert Hanson is Constellations executive vice president and president Wine + Spirits Division, reporting to president and CEO Bill Newlands. Hanson joined the company in June 2019. He previously served as a member of Constellation’s Board of Directors from 2013-2019. Prior to assuming his position with the Wine + Spirits Division at Constellation, he was CEO at John Hardy Global Limited, the global luxury jewelry brand. Hanson spoke with WBM last month for WBMs 2020 Outlook and Trends report but excerpts from the full conversation follow. In one of his first interviews following Constellations sale of wine brands priced under $11 to E & J Gallo, Hanson discussed Constellations overarching strategy, power brands, as well as the companys focus on the big consumer trends of ready-to-drink convenience and betterment. He talked about Constellations digital strategy, premiumization, Constellations values, and why he joined the company in his current role.
WBM: What did you accomplish as a wine company in 2020?
Our commitment continues to be to pivot to becoming a more bold and innovative high-end wine and craft spirits company putting out the most compelling consumer experiences in the marketplace. We shifted to a smaller set of power brands to generate much more consumer engagement because the consumer is in charge now. We need to make sure we’re generating consumer pull in a highly accretive way.
WBM: Whats your digital marketing strategy?
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Constellation Buys The Prisoner Wine Company For $285 Million
Constellation Brands, one of the worlds largest wine companies, is investing big in California red blends, buying the brands of The Prisoner Wine Company from Huneeus Vintners. The portfolio includes five brands: superstar blend The Prisoner, as well as Saldo, Cuttings, Blindfold and Thorn. The transaction, expected to close this month, includes just the brands. The price is approximately $285 million.
More than ever, consumers are seeking high quality, distinctive wines, and the portfolio we are acquiring from The Prisoner Wine Company delivers, said Bill Newlands, president of Constellations wine and spirits division. Our goal is to be a leader in the U.S. wine market and to continue to premiumize our portfolio. We continually look for opportunities to strengthen our position within this portion of the industry.
The Prisoner is a modern-day wine success story, launched by Orin Swift founder Dave Phinney in 2000. Phinney crafted a contemporary version of the California field blendZinfandel with portions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Charbono. The wine consistently earns outstanding reviews from Wine Spectator, and has appeared on Wine Spectators Top 100 list multiple times.
In 2010, Phinney sold the brand to Huneeus Vintners, owners of Quintessa, after growing it to 85,000 cases. Sources report the price tag then was $40 million. Huneeus has continued to expand the brand, increasing production to 170,000 cases last year.