Zinfandel Trail: A Guide to the Wine and Wineries That Produce it

 
9780953380305: Zinfandel Trail: A Guide to the Wine and Wineries That Produce it

In this fascinating book Ian Hutton traces the history of the vine back to its origins in Eastern Europe and follows its route across America to its arrival in California with the early settlers at the time of the Gold Rush. The author has spent two years researching this book and travelled over 10,000 miles to interview the winemakers involved in making one of the world's finest and perhaps least understood wines The author has interviewed all of the leading Zinfandel winemakers and growers and describes how the methods of cultivation and vinification, together with vineyard location, lead to the different styles of wine.

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From the Back Cover:

Zinfandel is the most widely planted red grape in California and yet the best wines are little known outside of America. In this fascinating and informative book Ian Hutton traces the history of the vine back to its origins in Eastern Europe and follows its route across America to its arrival in California with the early settlers at the time of the Gold Rush. The author has spent two years researching this book and travelled over 10,000 miles to interview the winemakers involved in making one of the world's finest and perhaps least understood wines. In so doing, he has created the most comprehensive and authoritative book on Zinfandel available. Part 1 describes the history of the vine and the various regions in which it is grown, the viticulture and vinification of the wine and the different styles of wine produced. Part 2 gives histories of the wineries and descriptions of the wines which they produce, based on interviews with the winemakers. * Over 120 wineries listed with contact details * More than 300 wines with prices and production details * Regional maps showing the locations of the wineries * Tasting notes for many of the wines * Distributors with contact details Learn how the different styles of wine are affected by the location of the vineyards and how the techniques of the winemaker allow the wines to express the individual character of the vineyard. You will discover the fascinating world of America's heritage grape in this definitive work on Zinfandel.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Zinfandel is going through a resurgence in popularity in the US and once again its total plantings have passed Cabernet Sauvignon to make it the country's most widely planted red variety. To be fair, a good deal of the 46,588 ha (1996 figures) of Zinfandel vines are grown in Central valley to produce grapes for blush and blending into jug wine, but quality Zinfandel production is also on the increase. The rise of blush Zinfandel in the 70s and early 80s almost certainly saved Zinfandel from extinction. Who knows how many of the venerable old vines would have been grubbed up in the rush to plant Chardonnay or Cabernet if it had not been for the discovery of the ultimate cash cow that White Zinfandel became? It is a salutary thought that even now, only 1 in 20 bottles of Zinfandel consumed in the US is red. Zinfandel growers and producers fall into three categories. There are the fortunate few who own old vine vineyards and produce their own wine from them, thus having control over the whole production process and guaranteeing both fruit quality and wine style. There are the growers who sell their fruit to wineries either as part of a long term contract or each year on the spot market, and there are the wineries which own no Zinfandel vines and vinify the fruit which they buy in. Since Zinfandel is in great demand at the moment (the price of some exceptional fruit is currently as high as Cabernet), those wineries which have bought or leased their own vineyards are in a comfortable position, as are the growers who can get top dollar for their crops. The danger is that smaller wineries which do not have regular suppliers may get squeezed out of the market as the larger concerns use their financial clout to secure their grapes. Hopefully this will not happen, most growers have long enough memories to remember when Zinfandel prices were $700 a ton rather than the $2,000 to $3,000 a ton that the best lots are currently fetching. To become greedy and exploit the spot market at the expense of fostering long term relationships with winemakers could be a mistake in the longer term. Because many winemakers rely on bought in grapes the Zinfandels offered each year may vary both in composition or designation, and it is common for different wineries to produce wines from the same vineyard. The wineries also tend to fall into broad groupings. First there are those which are run by descendants of the old settlers who colonised California in the late 19th century or arrived in the early 20th century. A quick roll call will reveal that these are predominantly of Italian descent, with names such as Pedroncelli, Rafanelli and Foppiano. These are still mostly family run businesses with the winemaking skills being passed down from father to son (or daughter). They produce Zinfandel because that was the traditional variety that their ancestors planted and they usually concentrate on one or two blends. Some old family businesses still only produce Zinfandel although most have diversified. A few wineries were established in the 60s, Ridge produced its first Zinfandel in 1964, Mayacamus and Sutter Home in 1968, but the next major wave of winemakers arrived in the late 70s and throughout the 80s. These were mostly people who gave up a successful career to turn to winemaking and either learned their craft at UC Davis or employed a winemaker and vineyard manager to look after things. This was the time of expansion in California's wine industry. Many of the new wave brought with them marketing skills which they had learned in their previous jobs and in some cases large amounts of cash with which to modernise or rebuild their wineries. These winemakers did not go into the business to produce Zinfandel; their entry was at the time when Zinfandel was losing its identity and Cabernet and Chardonnay were in the ascendant. It was during this period that the foundations were laid for the modern Californian wine industry as exemplified by Napa Valley. It should be remembered that even the established names in Californian wine such as Ridge and Mondavi, did not become involved until the 1960s; it is a relatively youthful market. Not all of the new wave were second jobbers, there are many wineries which have been established by winemakers who worked their way up, gaining experience at different wineries until they were ready to take the plunge themselves. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Preface Acknowledgements Introduction A brief history of Californian Wine Viticulture, Vinification and Maturation THE WINERY GUIDE Mendocino Brutocao Cellars Edmeades Elizabeth Vineyards Estate Baccala/Zellerbach Winery Hidden Cellars Milano Winery Parducci Whaler Vineyard Winery Sonoma Alderbrook Winery Bannister Wines Belvedere Winery Benziger Family Winery Braren Pauli Winery Chateau Souverain Cline Cellars David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery De Loach Deux Amis Dry Creek Vineyard Fanuchi Vineyards Ferrari-Carano Foppiano Gundlach Bundschu Hanna Winery Haywood Winery Hop Kiln J Fritz Winery Joseph Swan Vineyards Kenwood Vineyards Kunde Estate Winery Lake Sonoma Winery Limerick Lane Martinelli Martini & Prati Winery Mazzocco Meeker Vineyard Murphy-Goode Nalle Winery Pedroncelli Peterson Winery Pezzi King Quivira Rabbit Ridge A Rafanelli Winery Random Ridge Ravenswood Rodney Strong Ross Valley Sausal Winery Seghesio Vineyards & Winery Sonoma Creek Winery St Francis Winery & Vineyard Taft Street Winery Teldeschi Topolos at Russian River Trentadue Winery Wellington Vineyards Napa Ballentine Wines Cakebread Cellars Chateau Potelle Clos Du Val D-Cubed Cellars Deer Park Winery Fife Vineyards Folie a Deux Winery Frog's Leap Winery Green & Red Vineyard Grgich Hills Cellars Hendry Ranch Howell Mountain Vineyards Keegan Cellars Lamborn Family Vineyards Louis M Martini Paraduxx/Duckhorn Robert Biale Vineyards Saddleback Cellars St Supery Vineyards & Winery Storybook Mountain Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery Sutter Home Winery Tria Truchard Turley Wine Cellars Villa Mt Eden Sierra Foothills Amador Foothill Winery Black Sheep Winery Boeger Winery Deaver Vineyards Karly Lava Cap Winery Madrona Vineyards Milliaire Winery Montevina Wines Perry Creek Vineyards Renwood/Santino Shenendoah Vineyards/Sobon Estate Sierra Vista Stevenot Winery Story Winery Paso Robles Castoro Cellars Creston Vineyards Dover Canyon Winery Eberle Winery Norman Vineyards Peachy Canyon Saucelito Canyon Vineyard Silver Horse Vineyards Vista Del Ray Vineyards York Mountain Winery Santa Cruz Mountains and the Bay Area Ivan Tamas Mirassou Vineyards Murrieta's Well Ridge Vineyards Rosenblum Cellars Other regions Serendipity Cellars Australia Cape Mentelle Vineyards Ltd South Africa Blaauwklippen Index UK Stockists

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Ian George Hutton
Published by IGH Publications (1998)
ISBN 10: 0953380300 ISBN 13: 9780953380305
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Book Description IGH Publications, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0953380300

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