Orin Swift Cellars 8 Years in the Desert 2016
It’s hard to believe that this fall will be my twenty first harvest in the Napa Valley. Some of those vintages I remember fondly, others I’d like to forget. What may be harder to believe is that this harvest also marks the twentieth year that Orin Swift has been in business. Twenty years. It makes me feel old. But I love it, maybe now more than ever.
As many of you know, the first commercial wine I made for Orin Swift was Zinfandel. But none of you have ever tried it. None of you have tried it because it was never bottled. I sold it on the bulk market. I would argue that Zinfandel may be the most difficult varietal to tame. But when you get it right it rewards you like no other. If winemaking is a series of challenges Zinfandel has them all in spades. So, in 2009 I took a break from Zinfandel and its challenges. It would end up being an eight-year break. Eight years in the desert. It was never if but when would we make Zinfandel again. That when is now.