Until I moved to Paso Robles, I knew very little about Zinfandel. That changed when a good friend of mine taught me about the greatness of the varietal. Now, thanks in part to Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP), I and everyone else can celebrate the grape with its own day: National Zinfandel Day.
Grown in all parts of the world, Zinfandel has a special place here in California and is considered a heritage wine of the region even though its lineage and history goes back to lands surrounding the Adriatic Sea. Croatia and Primitivo are said to be where Zinfandel came from. Even so, California Zinfandel is now planted in countries like Italy and made to taste like California wines. Most Zinfandel is produced in California, accounting for roughly 10% of all grapes grown in the Golden State.
Once used as a blend to help give body to other thinner wines, Zinfandel, or Zin as it’s commonly called, often is made as a stand alone wine. With a relatively high sugar content, it can easily have a high alcohol level and when fortified, the wine is sometimes made into port. Zin has a wide balance, so it’s a delicious pairing for almost any occasion including the holidays.
Zin has made a particular home in the Paso Robles AVA on the Central Coast of California. Thought of as the regions heritage grape, great Zins have been produced in Paso Robles due to it unique terroir and diurnal. This short clip (Paso Wine Man) shows you just what the area thinks of their wine.
So, everyone stop what they’re doing and enjoy this day long celebration. Like many wine lovers around the world know, Zinfandel is a classic American varietal and whether you’re familiar with it or not, what a better reason to have than celebrate the day with a glass of Zin.