The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2018

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54  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2018 WHAT WE'RE DRINKING W hen Dave Phinney took a drive around a decommissioned and mostly-deserted naval base in the Bay Area a decade ago, he saw what few others could see: the future. After he practically conquered the wine- making business with his Prisoner, Orin Swift, and Locations line of wines, a restless Phinney was anxious to get moving again. He'd been looking for locations to launch a distillery in Napa, but the process was wearying and time- consuming. A friend recommended that the next time he was making the trek from Napa to San Francisco, he should stop and take a look at Mare Island in Vallejo. So, he took a ride through the spacious—if eerily empty—naval base and he saw some things that intrigued him. He eventually bought six buildings and began renovating to establish a distillery there; as of earlier this year, the doors are open to Savage & Cooke, where visitors can now sample his tequilas and whiskies. "It was a little hectic at the end," Phinney said of the first of three opening par- ties, which saw about 1,500 people exploring the site. "I was still in my civvies." Famed Napa winemaker Dave Phinney has expanded his operations to include the distillation of tequilas and whiskies at a renovated facility on Mare Island, a decommissioned naval base in Vallejo, CA. A Worthy Pit Stop WINE ICON DAVE PHINNEY SETS UP SHOP IN VALLEJO AT HIS NEW SAVAGE & COOKE DISTILLERY by John Curley PHOTO: MARGARET PATTILLO The barrel-aging room at Savage & Cooke. PHOTO: JOHN CURLEY

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