Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

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

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.