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About the California Zinfandel

Elvis Elvis

The roots of California Zinfandel can be traced to George Gibbs. In the 1820s, he imported the first cuttings of the vine to the United States. The grape was first introduced to California in the 1850s. It can be made into a wide range of styles.

It was widely planted during the Gold Rush and was making some of California’s best wines by the end of the 19th century. Zinfandel survived Prohibition extremely well. Because of its thick skins, it was transported to home winemakers all over the country under the Volstead Act. Many old vines owe their existence to the grape’s natural resistence during shipping.

The modern popularity of California Zinfandel began in the 1980s with the White Zinfandel boom. It was made famous by Bob Trinchero of Sutter Home. He invented White Zinfandel.

Acreage nearly doubled in California during the 1990s. Today, there is more Zin in California than any other red varietal. Many of these vines are planted in Lodi. The ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) was founded in 1991 and currently has over 7,000 members.

The grape was first planted in the Dry Creek Valley during the 1870s. The Dry Creek Valley has moderately warm days and cool nights. Zins from the region have an excellent balance of fruit and acidity. Napa, Lodi, Clear Lake, and Paso Robles are great ambassadors for the grape as well. Napa Zin tends to be robust and weighty.

About the California Zinfandel

Ridge Vineyards

Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, Ridge Vineyards makes one of the best Zins in the state. Paul Draper has been the winemaker at Ridge since 1969, and was amongst the first to make great red Zinfandel.