March 14, 2014 |
Epoch's Blog |
Zinfandel in a Nutshell
1829 - Imported from Austrian imperial nursery in Vienna by George Gibbs of Long Island
1832 - Gibbs took it to Boston and it was for sale at a nursery by the names Zenfendel/Zinfindal as a table grape!
1835 - 1845 introduced to California!
1878 - Became the most widely planted which lead to California’s first wine boom
1890 - Adolf Siot planted Zin west of Templeton
1915 - Paderewski planted Zin in Paso!!!!
1920s/30s - Zin started to become more popular in Paso
- Planted by many in the area including the following Italian families...Dusi, Martinelli, Busi, Vosti and Bianchi – many of which are still being farmed today by the families’ third and fourth generations.
1972 - Sutter Home made the first White Zin --> The wave of blush wines began!
1990s - DNA testing revealed Zin is the same as Primitivo (Italian Variety)
- Side note: Zin arrived in California before Primitivo arrived in Italy.
1998 - Cabernet Sauvignon surpassed Zin as the most widely planted red grape in California
2004 - Planted by EPOCH on the Paderewski Vineyard!!!!
2006 - California legislature designated Zinfandel as California’s official historical wine
2007 - Makes first appearance in an EPOCH wine (2007 Ing - 1%!)
2008 - First 100% Zinfandel made by EPOCH
Today - 3rd leading wine grape variety in CA, more than 47,000 acres planted (Over 10% of CA).
- Origin - Croatia
- According to DNA fingerprinting Zinfandel is genetically identical to a Croatian variety, Crljenak Kastelanski (only contradicting fact on the name: Wine Bible says Plavac Mali - further searching in Oxford Companion to Wine, “Plavac Mali is a cross between Zin and Dobricic”)
- Primitivo (Italian variety) is Zinfandel’s genetic twin (but they are different!, even labeling laws state that you cannot use them interchangeably)
- PRIMITIVO - Italian, ripens earlier, more even ripening and therefore easier to grow
- ZINFANDEL - American (Californian), uneven ripening, clusters compact
- Old Vine Zin has no legal definition (typically the vines are at least 40 years old, some over 100!)
- Growing Zinfandel can be very difficult:
- Clusters are compact and have uneven ripening, therefore likes long growing seasons
- Berries have thin skins
- Likes growing on hillsides for proper drainage
Zinfandel in Epoch Wines
2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 ZINFANDEL | 2007, 2009 INGENUITY | 2009 ESTATE BLEND