This Sunday is international Zinfandel day. ”Zin” as we casually call it is a flagship of Californian viticulture. It is remarkable to many extents. First because it is the second most planted red wine grape in the Golden State, but also because it is a grape that has its origins outside France.
It is only in 2001 that 3 ”ampelografs” discovered the DNA linked between the Croatian native Crljenak Kaštelanski and our famous Zinfandel. Zinfandel can be found in several wine regions but often in small quantities. After California, southern Italian Puglia is the second largest producer of “Primitivo” as they like to call it.
In the US, Zinfandel was first introduced on the east coast around 1830. 20 years later it followed the Gold Rush and was planted in California to please miners thanks to its appetite for sun and high yield. Today, Zinfandel is both known as a dry red and a blush: the notorious white Zinfandel. Even though Zinfandel is often associated to industrial wine production (especially the white Zinfandel), it can produce some elegant red once it is cultivated in slightly cooler areas.
When comes the time to fill you Avintage wine cabinet with some nice bottles, we, of course, look towards the US west coast. Producers such as Biale, Turley and Three have established themselves as solid references. Ridge Vineyards offers a nice selection of Zinfandel including “Hooker Creek”, unfortunately only available for wine club members.
We recommend to serve your Zinfandel between 65 to 68 depending on the body strength. Enjoy !