It is now believed that the origins of Zinfandel, the most associated grape to California, has its roots in Croatia and with the Italian Primotivo. In California we find the grape has evolved over the past century into a wine that is full-bodied and robust with loads of fruit similar to many of the early Italian winemaking immigrants might have experienced in Europe. Today these ancient vines are prized for such low yields and concentrated juice.
With the introduction of winter hardy grape stock from Minnesota Vermont has experienced a renaissance in winemaking in the last few years. With the likes of Montcalm Winery and Lincoln Peak Vineyard and others we have wonderful wines from grapes such as La Crescent, Marquette, and Frontenac. The interest is growing rapidly with area restaurants pouring these wines with confidence.
The Famed Paris Tasting
In 1976 a blind tasting took place that included cru classé Bordeaux and California Cabernet and Chardonnay-based wines from such vineyards as Napa Valley’s Chateau Montelena. The world was amazed to find out that the judges, to the surprise of everyone, that a California wine was giving first place in the tasting. The demand for American wine followed as well as a full scale development of California’s wine industry.