Why America’s Wine?
The American Dream…Wine
Zinfandel has charted a course all its own, from meager beginnings to America’s darling. Approachable and unpretentious, Zinfandel’s personality reflects where it’s grown, the winemaker’s style, and the moment…bold and celebratory, independent and familiar, versatile and individual.
All other significant wine varieties have their reference points in Europe (think Pinot Noir in Burgundy or Cabernet in Bordeaux), but Zinfandel has no western European counterpart. Zinfandel established its own tradition in California, surging to popularity during the Gold Rush, beginning in the early 1850’s, when miners wanted a substantial beverage and growers hoped for a grape that would provide a healthy and voluminous crop. Zinfandel rose to the occasion. It has become known as America’s Heritage wine by being the most widely planted grape from the 1880’s onward to the modern-day, where it is still the third most planted grape in California.
This red wine grape is recognized as the most terroir-driven grape for its expression of the soils and the climate where it is grown; Zinfandel is diverse in style as well as consumption. Starting in the jug, surging to popular heights as “white” Zinfandel in the 1970’s and maturing to award-winning fine, wine alongside the evolving wine trends in the “New World,” it sits comfortably at both the White House and your Friday night dinner table. It is planted in virtually all the grape growing areas of California, in the widest possible variety of soils and topography, and in climates from coldest to hottest. After more than a century of experimentation, Zinfandel has demonstrated its versatility and appeal to a wide cross-section of wine enthusiasts.
Fun Fact! Zinfandel Goes to Washington!
Ridge Vineyard’s 2014 East Bench Zinfandel was selected to be served at the last state dinner of the Obama administration, on the evening of October 18th, 2016 at the White House. How cool is that?
Celebrity chef Mario Batali collaborated with White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford to turn out a four course meal with the 2014 East Bench paired alongside the main course of a Beef Braciola Pinwheel with Horseradish Gremolata and Broccoli Rabe.