FBR Featured Guest: Dave Phinney

Episode Information

Joining Joe this week is the owner of spirits brand, Savage & Cooke, Dave Phinney. The wine, beer and industry is incredibly lucrative, for example recently, European beverage company Diageo acquired Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation American Gin for an estimated $610 million. Dave and Joe talk about the current state of the wine and spirits industry, and how it has changed since Dave got in the business 20 years ago.

About Dave Phinney:
Dave has a colorful, storied history in the craft beverage world. Twenty years ago, he took a friend up on an offer to spend a semester “studying” in Florence, Italy. This trip sparked what would become life long passions – history, agriculture, winemaking and the profound act of turning something from the earth into a beverage. After this epic trip, Dave moved to the Napa Valley and landed a job at the Robert Mondavi Winery in 1997 as a temporary harvest worker. He decided that if he was going to work this hard, it would eventually have to be for himself. So, in 1998 he founded his first brand with two tons of zinfandel and not much else. He spent the next decade making wine for others as well as himself and has since grown several companies into multinational brands. During this time, Dave also became increasingly interested in spirits.

In 2016, Dave started the Savage & Cooke distillery. He applied all that he learned over the years in winemaking and took a very different approach, notably finishing all of his spirits in wine barrels from his collection of projects. Dave decided to base Savage & Cooke on Mare Island, which is renowned for it’s rich history and architecture. He remains dedicated to his wine projects, but ever the innovator and never one to sit still, Dave is thrilled to now have a full craft beverage portfolio that includes wines from over a dozen countries, Bourbon, American Whiskey and Tequila.