ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

Are Zinfandel grapes and wines only produced in the United States, or in other regions as well?

—Marc H., North Hills, N.Y.

Dear Marc,

Before Zinfandel’s true origins were discovered, it was thought of as an American original. But it’s actually a descendant of a Croatian grape called Crljenak, so it’s more of a Croatian-American grape.

The vast majority of Zinfandel bottlings out there come from the United States, particularly California, but I’ve also seen some examples from Australia and South Africa. There’s also the Primitivo grape, which has some clonal differences but is otherwise genetically identical to Zinfandel. I’ve seen Primitivo bottlings from all over, especially from Italy.

—Dr. Vinny


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