Name of varietal: Zinfandel
Common synonyms: Primitivo, Crljenak Kaštelanski (Croatia, believed to be its root), White Zinfandel, Zin, Blush, Zinfendal
Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is likely the same grape as Zinfandel. In 2002, DNA testing proved that California Zinfandel has the same genetic structure as the Croatian Crljenak Kastelanski, which is likely its origin.
History of the grape: Zinfandel was originally brought over to the US from the Imperial Austrian plant collection by horticulturalist George Gibbs in 1820. There are records of a Boston, Massachusetts nursery selling “Zinfandal” vines for sale in the 1830s. During this time it had become a popular table grape in the Northeast. In the 1840s, it was transported to California during the Gold Rush. It became an abundant crop due to the ease in which it’s grown, requiring minimal pruning and no Read more »

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Popular Regions for Zinfandel View all

  • Napa

      There is some debate over how this famous wine region got its name. Spanish settlers named...

  • California

    Viticulture in California began in the 1700s as Spanish missionaries worked their way north fro...

  • El Dorado County

    The spectacular Sierra Nevada range offers a fitting backdrop to the vineyards of El Dorado Count...

  • USA

    "American Wine" has existed since the first Europeans brought their vinous heritage and tradition...

  • Russian River Valley

    The Russian River Valley is the most southerly AVA within Northern Sonoma. It is named for the ...

  • Sonoma County

      Wine-making in Sonoma, California began in 1812 when Russian colonists planted grapes at F...

  • San Luis Obispo County

      San Luis Obispo is part of the larger wine Central Coast region of California, located at ...

  • Dry Creek Valley

    The Carneros AVA straddles between both Napa and Sonoma Valleys, with distinct climates. The Na...

  • Lodi

    The Lodi wine region lies in the northern portion of California’s Central Valley, which include...

Popular Wineries using Zinfandel

  • Don Sebastiani & Sons

      To Don Sebastiani and Sons, family is clearly an important aspect of winemaking. While ...

  • Rockledge Vineyards

    High on the eastern slopes of Napa Valley just south of the town of St. Helena is a saddle covere...

  • Round Hill Vineyards & Cellars

    Rutherford Wine Company is family owned and managed with a portfolio of wines representing the ri...

  • Jade Mountain

    History Since 1988, Jade Mountain has been a pioneer in the production of age-worthy Rhône-style ...

  • Hagen Heights Vineyards

    As the French are fond of saying the quality begins with the very specific terroir or soils and w...

  • Joseph Carr

    Joseph Carr wines are produced at Larson Family Vineyards in Carneros, bordering both Napa and So...

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Zinfandel on Snooth

  • The basic bottlings of those Pinots are generally right around 13.9%. But Calera also makes a number of vineyard designated bottlings, like those from Mt. Harlan, that come in at 14.9. So does Acacia - DeSoto and Horseshoe Bend for example, and Cambria - like Barbara's.That's right around what the Seghesio Sonoma Zin usually is. Then there are b... Read More

    Forum post in the topic My Zinfandel Report

  • DMCKER - Yes, I drink exclusively Calif. Pinots, such as Acacia Carneros, Cambria, Calera and Greg Norman.  Someday I'll get around to trying Meiomi and Flowers. I hate Willamette PNs.  They lack structure and flavor.  I tried a French PN recently and it wasn't fruit forward enough for me.  The only other Italian red I drink is Montepulciano d'A... Read More

    Forum post in the topic My Zinfandel Report

  • Czarina, when I started drinking zin back in the '70s, it only had 12~12.5% alcohol from any maker. Now sometimes even 16%. This is not only a problem for zin, but also for cabernet sauvignon and other varietals in California. Really bad in places like Paso Robles and Lodi, but plenty of culprits up in Napa and even Sonoma. Unfortunately it's al... Read More

    Forum post in the topic My Zinfandel Report

  • Al - Thanks for the beautiful charcuterie pic.  My last job was in a high end deli and I sold all those meats and cheeses.Emark - Cote de Brouilly is my fave Gamay varietal.  The Chavannes Cote de Brouilly Cuvee Ambassades is a beauty especially at about $20.  It's a shame about Zin.  Zin and me aren't meant to be.  :-(  Regarding Chianti CR, gi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic My Zinfandel Report

  • How disappointing, Czarina.  I am the guy, here, who is not that sensitive ... you might want to just avoid Zinfandel -- or step up a bit in $$ and look at a Ridge Lytton Springs or Geyserville bottlings.  Heck, if PN or Gamay hit your sweet spot, keep on exploring them.  I am not a PN fan, at all.  So, I can't give any recommendations, but I'm... Read More

    Forum post in the topic My Zinfandel Report

  • Although I enjoy the Zinfandel's from St. Francis (Napa) and a few others, I've recently tried some of the Ridge Winery Zinfandel blends.  They are quite nice but overall I think you will find that Zinfandel wines have high alcohol content.  I don't mind the extra kick though.  Just have some charcuterie on hand. Read More

    Forum post in the topic My Zinfandel Report

  • Years ago it was a great value wine . I bought it all the time. Now the zin has been unremarkable for at least 10 years, maybe more. Good but there are better for much less.Thanks for your articles on Zin. Read More

    Forum post in the topic My Zinfandel Report

  • So, I finally re-introduced myself to Zinfandel.  I bought a half bottle of Seghesio Sonoma '12.  I decantered it for 1 hour and ate it with spaghetti w/tomato-basil sauce.  The wine was dominated by the alcohol -- 14.8% -- and while I tasted black fruit and a very interesting roasted sage note on the mid-palate, the alcohol drive of the wine ma... Read More

    Forum post in the topic My Zinfandel Report

  • Matthew Fox Cabernet Sauvignon California 2009


    I like this a whole lot. It is extremely affordable and delicious. I prefer it ... I also like the merlot and zinfandel from this bra Read More

    Wine review by scrappy777

  • Thanks to the generosity of JD we enjoyed this over the course of the past two ... tastes like they took their Zinfandel, tossed in some Petite Sirah and threw in a couple barrels of Cab Sauv for good measure. Big ripe delicious fruit, with great spice and structure. Very easy drinking but showing complexity for such a rich wine. Thanks Pa Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


    Comment by 1134302REDS 45 1134302 REDS 45

  • If you ever find yourself in Southern Italy, you can put this primitivo/zinfandel connection to the taste test at the Moio family wine operation in Mondragone. Check out their website, and then check out their wines! They generally cook up four or five different primitivi each year, with Maitico being the most expensive and 57 the mid-priced a...

    Comment by 656126mjapka 656126 mjapka

  • I also love Lodi Zifindales-OVZ, Deep Purple, Earthquake,Herman Walters Family Vine ,Campus Oak,Starry Night,are some. These are not from Lodi- Imortal Zin(better the next day),Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Zifindal, Joel Goetz 2005 Zifindal,Robert Biale Vineyards Zifindale,Layer Cake Zifindale. Right now Taza Chocolate (Whole Foods, only make dar...

    Comment by 760568aliceoneal 760568 aliceoneal

  • If you love food & wine these Video reviews are refreshing and down to earth. Most recently Judit & Corina of Wine Dine TV just (August 29, 2011) released a video review of The Fanucchi Vineyards 2005 Old Vine Zinfandel They each rated it 4.8 out of 5. In this short clip they pop the cork, taste it, and describe & discuss the it & what it ...

    Comment by 46167Vine Master Fanucchi 46167 Vine Master Fanucchi

  • Gotta try SPEEDY CREEK from Knights Valley, Sonoma. Small lot estate winery right across from Peter Michael and mighty delicious (without the $$$)! Mountain fruit, rich berry taste and the perfect amount of spice. Great with food/bbq and equally good on it's own. A great social wine.

    Comment by 384270tutti vino 384270 tutti vino


    Comment by 830087JBZCPINE 830087 JBZCPINE

  • that's some very good stuff.That is my best wine ever.I had some of that stuff right before my grandam ever past away.

    Comment by 494061drinkwine36 494061 drinkwine36

  • Zin lovers, gotta love the new generation of Zins coming out of Lodi...Check out Fields Family Wines www.fieldsfamilywines.com

    Comment by 222318lodiwino 222318 lodiwino

  • Rombauer Vineyards (Napa Valley, CA)....hands down the best and most flavorful Red Zinfandel you will ever try, I promise.

    Comment by 776777Rach1102 776777 Rach1102

  • I am looking for this 92 kunde 2007 reserve century.

    Comment by 774183lilil 774183 lilil

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