Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Birth Of White Zinfandel At Sutter Home

A recent post on a wine blog well worth checking out - Dr. Vino - dealt with the story behind the birth of one of the most popular White Zinfandels, that of Sutter Home Winery.

The Napa Valley winery dates back to the late 1800s, and was resurrected by the Trinchero family in 1948.  They struggled along for a number of years, until Bob Trinchero - quite by accident - made what he termed a White Zinfandel.  He did this by bleeding off some of the juice to try and make his Zinfandel wine more concentrated.

Dr. Vino quotes Mr. Trinchero at length from an oral history at the University of California's Bancroft Library.  He says the happy accident occurred in 1972, and White Zin really started to take off in the mid '70s.  At that time he was producing about 400 cases of the pink wine.

Dr. Vino concludes the post with the success story: Sutter Home's output of White Zinfandel grew and became more popular.  By 1985 they were selling a million and a half cases, by 1990 they moved 3 million cases of their White Zinfandel.

Sutter Home also has a little video of the story of White Zinfandel on their website.

By the way, if you pooh-pooh White Zinfandel while ruminating over your old vine Zin, consider what I have been told.  Were it not for the enormous popularity of White Zin in the 1980s, many old Zinfandel vines in California might have been ripped out to make way for more commercially viable grapes. 

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