Dave Phinney began his winemaking experience in 1997 when he joined the team at Robert Mondavi Winery as a temporary harvest worker. He quickly realized that this was something he wanted to make a career of and in 1998 started Orin Swift Cellars. His first love was Zinfandel which he made as a stand-alone varietal for one year only in 1999. In the 2000 vintage Dave created a Zinfandel blend called The Prisoner and from 2000-2007 all his efforts and Zinfandel went to The Prisoner. In 2007, Dave decided to go back to his roots and make a varietal Zinfandel from the tremendous and diverse vineyards he had gotten to know through the years, enter Saldo.
Since its inception, Saldo has been Dave's attempt to produce the highest quality Zinfandel without the constraints of any one AVA. What results is a Zinfandel with great natural fruit character as well as amazing structure and balance.
In December 2009, Phinney joined forces with Agustin Huneeus and his family, transferring ownership of Saldo and The Prisoner to their established sales network while Phinney continues to oversee all aspects of grape sourcing, winemaking and marketing.