8 Years in the Desert is an homage to California. It's anchored by a distinctly Californian grape varietal, Zinfandel, and the fruit is sourced from across the state to craft a wine that shows off the Orin Swift style.
A deep maroon core with a ruby rim, the 2021 Eight Years in the Desert opens with aromas of wild blackberry, pepper, oatmeal raisin cookie, Sequoia forest floor, bay leaf and spices. The entry is broad and opulent with a mid-palate of brambly raspberry, black cherry, ripe blueberry and a hint of cacao. The wine has superb length through the finish with ripe tannins and a close of sweet oak.
The history of Orin Swift Cellars dates back to 1995 when on a lark, David Swift Phinney took a friend up on an offer and went to Florence, Italy to spend a semester “studying”. During that time, he was introduced to wine, how it was made, and got hooked. A few more years of university led to graduation and eventually a job at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1997 as a temporary harvest worker. Deciding that if he was going to work this hard, it would eventually have to be for himself, he founded Orin Swift Cellars in 1998; Orin is his father’s middle name and Swift is his mother’s maiden name. With two tons of zinfandel and not much else, he spent the next decade making wine for others as well as himself and grew the brand to what it is today.