Description 1 of 2

 

No Wimpy Wines. That’s the motto of Ravenswood Winery, a winery that believes that white Zinfandel’s best quality is that it preserved Old Vine Zinfandel during Prohibition. That’s not just some flashy name either: Joel Peterson, founder and winemaker of Ravenswood and nicknamed “the Godfather of Zin,” lives it every day. He spent 15 tireless years trying to get his winery to turn a profit, and while his first harvest was in 1976, it was in 1992 that he finally quit his other job at a clinical lab, splitting his life in two the whole time.

Financing the operation was always difficult. For many years, the winery moved around, trying to find a cheap place to house their operations. It wasn’t until their Vintners Blend program was launched that they were finally able to settle down with the money they made, in 1991. Starting in the mid 80s, Vintners Blend was a less expensive wine, thanks to the fact that it was created by blending many grapes from different vineyards.

In 1982 Ravenswood made their first Zinfandel with grapes from multiple vineyards, creating its County Series: wines that feature regional distinctions. Today, it sources grapes from over 100 vineyards in northern California, a huge expansion from its original vagabond roots.
– Description from hinaualan

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Description 2 of 2

For as long as anybody cares to remember, this has been the credo (calling card? Battle cry? Team yell? Coat of arms?) of Ravenswood Winery in Sonoma, California. Expressing our commitment to full-flavored varietal wine — notably Zinfandel — it sums up our mission to capture everything a vineyard has to offer, and to promote it in a way that won't put people to sleep. Wine is, after all, one of the most fascinating and fun things in life, which is why Ravenswood winemaker Joel Peterson believes that it belongs on the table — not on a pedestal or in an ivory tower. How did the name of Ravenswood become interchangeable with irresistibility? In the early 1970s, when California's claim to fame was the "best jug wine in the world," Joel's dream was to create wines that would rival the greatest of Europe. Turned out he wasn't dreaming: In his first vintage, 1976, he produced 327 cases of Dry Creek Zin that took first place in a prestigious San Francisco tasting. But despite the cult following and critical acclaim that began to swirl around its hypnotic logo, Ravenswood remained a roving boutique until the late 1980s, when its Vintners Blend program was launched. Conceived on Joel's conviction that, besides great wine, the world needs good, affordable wine ("a lake of wine an inch deep"), it redefined the concept of Best Jug Wine in the World. – Description from Kyle Graynor

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