Why the name Phincas? A common question. David claims that many names for his wines were decided over numerous glasses with friends. If I may digress for a moment, who discusses PHI while drinking?!? Anyway … the first half of the equation is a play on words, “finca” in Spanish roughly translates to vineyard. David replaced the “f-i” with PHI to represent the Golden Ratio. Why? The Golden ratio, 1.618…, is represented by the greek letter PHI. It is a special number found by dividing a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part. This concept simplified is David’s way of communicating his winemaking philosophy; the smaller part is the winery, the larger part (and in his opinion, the most important) is the vineyard and both elements together equal the art of winemaking.
The use of the word “art” here, is no accident, as this equation, also known as Divine Proportion, was illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci among numerous other artists including Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, and Dali. The Golden Ratio was used to achieve balance and beauty. To quote David, “I believe wine can be compared to the visual arts, since it’s a kind of universal communication that harbors a concept and an aesthetic in much greater measure than the non-expert might suspect.” Similar to its application in design, the concept of the Golden ratio applied in art of making wine to create a sense of beauty through harmony and proportion.
Interestingly, you can also find a plethora of examples of the Golden Ratio in nature. Its beauty can be found in flowers, seashells, pineapples and even honeycombs.
The Greeks believed there to be three “ingredients” to beauty: symmetry, proportion, and harmony. They judged life by this mentality and we welcome you to judge our wines by the same means. Cheers!