QUESTION: Why is Zinfandel considered by many to be the “state wine” of California?
ANSWER: Well, for many years, it was believed that the grape variety was native to the Golden State. That assertion now is in dispute since DNA testing has shown Zinfandel to be almost identical to the Italian variety known as Primitivo.
But a good case could still be made for Zin on two counts:
1. It’s made in so many different styles, from dry to sweet to “blush.”
2. It was one of the few varieties to survive Prohibition. During that failed social experiment, home winemakers were allowed to produce up to 200 gallons of wine per year for their own consumption… and most of that wine was made from Zinfandel.