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The red grape variety comes from Croatia, but is mainly sold under the name Zinfandel in California grown. The German pronunciation is "Zin-fan-del", in the American the "a" is swallowed and the name pronounced as "Zinfn-dell". It is often referred to as “Zin” for short. According to Dr. Carole Meredith and John Bowers DNA analysis at the University of California (Davis) in close cooperation with Croatian and Italian vine specialists from 1994 to 2011, the identity, which had been unclear for many decades, was clarified. Three varieties grown in Europe and one grown in the United States are identical:

The Croatian Tribidrag (also Crljenak Kaštelanski ), the Italian Primitivo , the California Zinfandel and the Montenegrin Kratošija are genetically (almost) the same. The variety is therefore also called ZPC = Zinfandel / Primitivo / Crljenak Kaštelanski. Primitivo and Tribidrag / Zinfandel are not 100% identical according to DNA analyzes, but are considered one vine, According to the ampelographic rule, a variety is designated by the oldest name used, which is why the name “Tribidrag”, already mentioned in the 15th century, was suggested in the “Wine Grapes” variety bible. The history of identity clarification is below Tribidrag described.

Zinfandel - grape and leaf

There are still many Americans who (for reasons of national pride) claim the origin of the vine in America. But both the vine species, namely Vitis vinifera, as well as the Croatian origin is now clearly proven. The vine reached Europe from America around 200 years ago. In the 1820s, the Rebschul owners George Gibbs out in Long Island Wien respectively. Gumpoldskirchen ( Lower Austria ) different grape varieties, including the Zinfandel. The name may be due to incorrect labeling or confusion with the imported name-like variety Zierfandler emerged, but that is not certain. From 1835 it became a very popular wine press under the names Zinfendal, Zinfindal or Zinfendel in the northeastern United States table grape, Around 1850 she came to California. During the gold rush (1848-1854), wine was the everyday drink of the gold digger.

Around 1885, Arpad Haraszthy claimed that his father Agoston Haraszthy (1812-1869) would have introduced the vine to California around 1860; this hypothesis, which could not be verified or was incorrect, persisted until the 1970s. The fact that she had just come to America long before Haraszthy was clarified by the US historian and wine author Charles L. Sullivan. Around 1890, it became the dominant variety during the first California wine boom. At the beginning of the 20th century, most areas were phylloxera destroyed. Some grafted vines survived and were used for restocking. In Amador County, California, there are still over 100 year old specimens. During the prohibition (1920 to 1933) the vine was the most common basis for banned wine production. Afterwards, it remained popular and was the most common grape variety in the USA in the 1990s.

Zinfandel - vine with grapes

The two (three) varieties have been related in the past 200 years Maturity date, Disease susceptibility and taste developed a little differently. The medium-aged Zinfandel (a little later than Primitivo) is sensitive to moisture and susceptible to Botrytis, On a grape, fully ripe and unripe berries can often appear mixed, which is what vintage makes difficult. It produces alcohol-rich red wines with aging potential. This traces a characteristic spicy taste (even more than Primitivo) with diverse aromas cinnamon Mint chocolate. cloves. pepper, Black cherries, blackberries and raspberries. The variety is said to have the character of a soil ( terroir ) can express particularly well. In the United States, Zinfandel for rosé wines ( White Zinfandel ), light to strong alcoholic red wines mostly as single varieties varietals and fortified dessert wines in Port wine style used. The terms Zinfandel and Primitivo are permissible.

In the United States a total of 19,857 hectares were designated in 2010. The vast majority of it is located at around 19,000 in California, especially Central Valley with 8,000 hectares, North Coast ( Mendocino County. Sonoma County ) and Sierra Foothills, In San Joaquin County in 1999 a white variant ( mutation ) found. The association has existed since 1991 ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers). There are also smaller areas in the states Arizona. Colorado. Illinois. Indiana. Massachusetts. New Mexico. new York. North Carolina. Ohio. Oregon. Tennessee. Texas and Washington, All growing countries and quantities see under Tribidrag,

Grape and leaf: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)
Vine with grapes: Shutterstock

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