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by Fred McMillin
for March 7, 2000

 

The White Zin Cash In


Prologue

"White Zinfandel proves that if you give people what they want, you'll be successful."

...Bob Trinchero, who introduced White Zinfandel in 1972

By 1987 the industry is generating over two hundred million dollars a year profits from White Zin sales.

...Stuller and Martin's Grapevine

Sattui White Zinfandel Was it a passing fancy? Let's see what the California Wine Institute said 10 years later: In 1997 the Zinfandel crush showed an astronomical gain to 420,000 tons, a 40% increase over the prior year. A majority of the volume is destined for the production of White Zinfandel, which holds the second largest share of California wine sales. [Only Chardonnay exceeded White Zin.]


The Rest of the Story

Daryl Sattui knows how to give people what they like. He makes more cases of White Zinfandel than of his highly-regarded Chardonnay and Cabernet. Here's his latest edition.

1998 Sattui White Zinfandel
Appellation—California
Sales—When Daryl set up shop in the Napa Valley a while back, he first sold his wine only to winery visitors, since there were no funds for a sales department. He made it so attractive, (pictured), that he still just sells out of his winery. To order, phone (707) 963-7774. Rating—A classic White Zin...HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those who sip pink.
Alcohol—On the substantial side, 12%
Price—$8.95


The Taste of White Zin

New York Times: "A pleasant, refreshing drink; it's tastier and a lot easier to take than a martini."

Oxford Wine Companion: "The wine is not white but pink, decidedly sweet, and often enlivened with a touch of gas. It was California's great commercial success of the 1980s."

Let's conclude with more words from the wine's creator, Bob Trinchino: White Zin is popular because it tastes good, is reasonably priced, and you don't have to have a degree in enology to enjoy it. [One other plus: We unwashed masses like it with any food.]


Postscript

In 1888, Napa Valley's foremost enologist, Prof. George Husmann, wrote that "if pressed lightly, Zinfandel could make a choice white wine." He was right.

WineDay articles on Sattui:
Oct. 13, 1997—"Christopher Columbus Sipped Here"
Sept. 24, 1999—"St. Helena Wine Cellars"
Dec. 27, 1999—"Macao Knowhow"

 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

 
 


This page created March 2000

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