Our brand name and namesake wine, The Prisoner, were inspired by the classic sketch Le Petit Prisonier by 19th century Spanish artist Francisco Goya. The sketch is part of Goya's series entitled, “The Disasters of War”, created to be a visual protest against the injustice and brutality of the Spanish War of Independence in 1808. From our founding, The Prisoner Wine Company has stood in solidarity with the fight against racism, mass incarceration and the systematic oppression of Black communities. We are committed to educating ourselves, embracing diversity and creating an inclusive environment where all our employees and business partners feel safe, respected and valued.
When our first wine, The Prisoner, was released two decades ago as a complex blend of some of California’s best and most unusual grape varieties, it swiftly and permanently changed the perception of what a red blend wine could be. Since then, we’ve grown to include a range of rule-bending blends with provocative label designs, being recognized by fans and wine critics alike as one of the most bold and innovative wine brands in the market, leading the resurgence of California luxury red blends and earning “cult” wine status.
Today, our Director of Winemaking Chrissy Wittmann and her team work with over 100 growers in northern California, bringing together exceptional fruit to produce a family of intriguing wines unrestricted by tradition. The Prisoner Wine Company is located on the legendary Highway29 in Napa Valley and welcomes visitors year-round for unexpected, immersive experiences.
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.
Niki Williams grew up in a central Illinois farming community, where she honed her land management skills from an early age. Niki also worked for a European travel company, through which she visited the top winemaking regions of France and Italy, discovering a deep love of wine along the way. When presented with the chance to return to school in 2008, Niki committed herself to her growing passion by earning a B.S. in Viticulture & Enology at the University of California, Davis in order to pursue a career in winemaking.
Brett Young grew up in Lodi, home to many of California’s oldest Zinfandel vineyards. With a clear passion for the kitchen, he enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York City. From there he worked in diverse kitchens such as The Ritz-Carlton Millennia in Singapore, Mix Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, and Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa Valley, all of which shaped his thinking about all things food, wine and exceptional hospitality.
The Prisoner Wine Company is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of winemaking. Our partners in this vision are phenomenal growers throughout California’s premier growing regions who are dedicated to cultivating unique grape varieties. Through them, we source fruit from more than 100 vineyards across the state.