The Prisoner Wine Company – The makings of a cult favorite
The Prisoner Wine Company finds solace in what’s different, and it doesn’t stand on ceremony. It takes an unconventional approach to winemaking by working with impassioned growers to source varietals from vineyards and appellations across California. Together, they create wine blends that challenge expectation. They are The Prisoner Wine Company.
Inspired by “garagiste” field blends from the Prohibition era, Dave Phinney crafted the first vintage of The Prisoner in the late 1990s. Through the years, he and winemaker Jen Beloz sought out distinct vineyard sites capable of producing the beautiful, rich, ripe fruit and full mouthfeel that has become the brand’s hallmark. These sites—many of them legacy vineyards dry-farmed from pre-Prohibition plantings—remain a critical part of The Prisoner Wine Company’s “family” of growers.
Chrissy Wittmann, Director of Winemaking
Chrissy Wittmann came to winemaking in an unconventional way. After earning a B.S. in Ecology and Systematic Biology at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, the future winemaker found her love for wine while analyzing soil and waste water samples in a lab. After serving time as a laboratory enologist, Chrissy returned to Cal Poly, achieving her master’s degree in Agriculture.
“This is a fantastic team. Everyone brings something unique to the table but at the end of the day, passion for our wines bring us together.” - Chrissy Wittmann