There aren’t very many wine estates that concentrate solely on Zinfandel – but Z-52 is one of them.
Z-52 is a partnership of veteran vintner Philip Zorn and long-time wine industry executive Brent Shortridge.
Zorn’s impressive resume includes stints at Sunny St. Helena, Gauer Estate, Paraiso Springs and Tria.
Shortridge had the privilege of working alongside legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff before transitioning into a marketing position with the Buena Vista winery.
Between the two, Zorn and Shortridge wear all the hats at Z-52. The “Z” recognizes the shared letter in Zorn and Zinfandel, and Shortridge says the “52” references the number of weeks in a vintage year, the number of rows in one of the winery’s key vineyards, and “the number of cards in a full deck.”
Among the grape sources for Z-52 Zin is the famous Clockspring Vineyard, which is situated in the Shenandoah Valley of California’s Amador County.
Clockspring, named for a retired cattle brand once used on the property, is relatively high in elevation (which puts it above the fog line) and its soils of decomposed granite are perfect for producing deeply hued Zinfandel wines with rich flavors.
The quality of the grapes is enhanced by the organic farming methods practiced in the vineyard.
Zorn says he takes “a minimalist approach to winemaking,” which “embraces the notion that terroir and its influence on grape character is essential to producing outstanding Zinfandel.”