The Zinfandel grape has a colourful history. It started off in Croatia (known as Crljenak), put down roots in Southern Italy’s Puglia, where it is known as Primitivo, and eventually found its way to California where it has become the sunshine state’s signature grape varietal.
Wherever the grape grows, it produces wines that are best described as “fruity” with a lot of mouth-filling jammy, super ripe aromas and flavours. The grape has a high sugar content and many versions have a slight sweetness from residual sugar after fermentation. It is this ultra-ripe, fruit forward style that makes the wines extremely popular especially when paired with BBQ meats. Zinfandel can reach very high alcohol contents – as high as 17% for an unfortified wine!