Zinfandel - The Adaptable Grape
"Zinfandel inspires me like no other wine. Depth, spice, sweet fruits, great texture and longevity are some of the characteristics of great Zins, and a finely crafted Zinfandel deserves a place among the finest wines in the world.” —Ondine Chattan, Winemaker
Zinfandel was brought to California in 1852 by Frederick Macondray, a nursery owner from Massachusetts. At the beginning of the century Zinfandel was the most widely planted varietal in California due to its hardiness, which allowed it to adapt and flourish in a variety of climates and terroirs.
Hardy as it is, it takes true viticultural expertise to farm Zinfandel well. Because its grape clusters often ripen unevenly, it’s difficult to pick at just the right moment. Uneven ripening is also what gives Zinfandel its unique flavor dynamics. Mature berries offer the most pronounced fruit flavors, while less mature ones provide the necessary acidity. The ripest berries supply concentration and depth. Balancing these levels of ripeness at harvest is the key to producing wines of distinction.
Zinfandel - A Chameleon
Zinfandel is a chameleon, offering a range of styles as varied as the regions it is grown in. It can show bright fruit flavors like cherry and strawberry, earthy characteristics with mineral notes, and rich spices of clove, nutmeg and allspice.