For decades, Zinfandel was considered California’s “native winegrape.”
In recent years, genetic “fingerprinting” has revealed that Zinfandel is virtually identical to the Italian grape known as Primitivo.
It makes perfect sense that California and Italy would share a common grape variety, since many of California’s earliest vintners were Italian immigrants.
By the way, both Zinfandel and Primitivo descend from a rare Croatian variety called (and good luck with pronouncing this!) Crljenak Kastelanski.