We Were Just Foolin'!

     So, by now, you’ve probably figured out that the “news report” featured here on April 1 – about new government regulations requiring White Zinfandel wine to actually be white in “color” – was just our way of having a little fun on April Fool’s Day.

     White Zinfandel will continue to be pink or salmon-colored (depending on the maker) for the foreseeable future.

     But, in our defense, you should know that we weren’t the only folks in the wine world who were pulling a few legs that day. The Ravenswood and Trefethen wineries also joined in.

     Ravenswood has built its reputation on big, bold, take-no-prisoners renditions of Zinfandel. The estate’s motto: “No wimpy wines!”

     But in an email blast on April 1, fans of the winery received this message: “Introducing… Ravenswood White Zin.”

     The wine was described as “perfect for summer parties and other fun times,” and the email also provided this assessment: “Fruity – ummm…”

     Food pairing suggestions even were offered, and included curly fries, nachos and deep-fried Snickers.

     And customers were warned: “We only have one batch, so don’t wait to order!”

     Scroll… scroll… scroll… and then these two words: “April Fools!”

     That was followed, appropriately, by the “no wimpy wines” motto.

     Trefethen got started early on its elaborate April Fool’s prank, sending out tiny bottles (think of the size the airlines serve in coach) of a new wine dubbed “Fallow” to members of the wine media.

     The package also included a description card, much like the tech sheets that accompany new releases, detailing information on the vineyard, the wine’s composition, the wine itself and food pairing suggestions.

     The wording was quite convincing, save for a few tongue-in-cheek phrases along the way, but the joke was fully revealed only at the very end.

     “Over the forty years that we have grown grapes on our land in the Napa Valley,” the text began, “we have regularly replanted sections of our vineyards to replace old vines and introduce more sustainable farming practices. With this process, we occasionally have a small section of the vineyard that we leave as fallow ground for a year, to rest and recover.

     “And over the years, our visitors have often looked at our vineyard maps and asked us what kind of wine can be made from fallow grapes. We heard their suggestion and fallowed it!”

     Yes, that tiny bottle of Trefethen 2009 Estate Fallow was empty.

Posted in Editor's Journal
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