The story of Orin Swift Cellars begins in 1995, when Dave Phinney jokingly accepted a friend's suggestion to go to Florence, Italy, for six months of “study”. It was during this period that he came into contact with wine and its manufacture and was sold. A few years later, he graduated from university and got his first job at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1997 as a temporary seasonal worker for the harvest. He decided that if he had to work that hard, he ended up doing it just for himself. That is why he founded Orin Swift Cellars in 1998. Orin is his father's middle name and Swift his mother's maiden name. With little more than two tons of Zinfandel grapes, he spent the next ten years making wine, both for himself and for others. In this way he expanded the company into what it is today.