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Zinfandel


Black grape variety originally from Croatia where it is known as Crljenak Kaštelanski, but in California it is cultivated extensively under the name of Zinfandel. This vine is believed to have arrived in 1892 when it was imported from the Austrian imperial nursery in Vienna by George Gibbs of Long Island. The grape arrived on the West coast in the 1850's, and was cultivated in Napa and Sonoma where it became known as 'Zinfindal', or 'Zenfendel'.



It was initially overlooked that Zinfandel was identical to Primitivo grown in Italy until the 1990's. However Italian growers were exporting their Primitivo wines labelled as Zinfandel prior to this. Zinfandel is frequently used for mass produced wines. However some fantastic wines have been made by skilful producers who apply oak judiciously and experiment with vinification techniques. White Zinfandel has been very successful and planting have increased dramatically. This grape is also found in South Africa and Australia, where Cape Mentelle have produced it successfully in Western Australia.


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