Zinfandel grape variety of California (Primitivo in Puglia, Italy)

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Zinfandel grape variety
Wine glossary

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane

Zinfandel is a grape variety that is widely planted in California and which produces dark, inky, full-bodied red wines.
There is some debate over the origins of this grape with some claiming it originated in Puglia in Italy where it is called Primitivo, while others claiming that Primitivo was introduced by Italian migrants returning to Italy from California. Still others have detected similarities in DNA structure between Zinfandel and Plavac Mali, a native variety of Croatia. However it is most likely that the work of Carole Meredith of the University of California at Davis will turn out to have established the origin as the Croatian grape called Crjenak Kastelanski.
Some successful plantings have also been established in Australia and South Africa.
Look for wines from producers such as Di Arie in the Shenandoah Valley and any from Ridge Vineyards.

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