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Name Variations Edit
- Zinfandel Blanc
About White Zinfandel Edit
Wikipedia Article About White Zinfandel on Wikipedia
White Zinfandel, often abbreviated to White Zin, is an off–dry to sweet blush wine that is pink in color. White Zinfandel is made from the Zinfandel wine grape, which would otherwise produce a red wine. As such, it is not a grape variety but a method of processing Zinfandel grapes used in California.
Typically an inexpensive jug wine, White Zinfandel is a quaffing wine that is sweet, low in alcohol, and soft; making it a popular choice with those who would not otherwise drink wine. Depending on the amount of sugar it contains, White Zinfandel can taste almost like a fruit punch, although some examples have crisp acids and are balanced in their own way. It is rare when a White Zinfandel is not manufactured with the intention of immediate consumption.
In the 1970s Sutter Home was a producer of premium Zinfandel in the Napa Valley. One technique they utilized to increase concentration in their wines was called saignée, by which some juice is bled off to increase the impact of compounds in the skins on the remaining wine. The excess juice is light pink. In 1975, this excess juice experienced a "stuck" fermentation, which left some sugar unfermented. The result, a sweet pink wine, by then called White Zinfandel, became a smash hit. Sutter Home realized they could sell far more White Zinfandel than anything they had produced to date, and gradually became a successful producer of inexpensive wines. However, the demand for White Zinfandel resulted in extended commercial viability of old vine Zinfandel vineyards, which saved them from being ripped out. When the fine wine boom started in the 1980s, demand for (red) Zinfandel picked up considerably and these vineyards became prized for the low yields from the sometimes century–old vines.
Rather than use the leftover juice from premium Zinfandel production, Sutter Home (and most producers today) grow grapes specifically for use in White Zinfandel in places like the Central Valley of California. Production costs are substantially lower and fruit quality is not as important to the final taste as it would be in a dry table wine. Ironically, in the 1990s the Trinchero family, owners of Sutter Home, began production of a new brand of fine wines, M. Trinchero.
Beringer Vineyards who produces one of the most popular White Zinfandels on the market recently released a new "Sparkling White Zinfandel" to commemorate its 20th anniversary as a White Zinfandel producer.