by Fred McMillin
for April 20, 1998

Old Vines, Fine Wine


Prologue

Regarding Amador County Zinfandels, flavors can be astonishingly intense especially when the vines come from shy-bearing graybeard vineyards.

...See March 18,1997 WineDay.

Picnic Hill is our oldest vineyard. Planted at the turn of the century, these old vines produce a classic Amador County Zinfandel.

...Jan and Bruce Tichenor, Story Winery owners.


The Rest of the Story

The 1995 Old Vines Picnic Hill Story Zin is beautiful. Over the last 10 years my tasters have been giving Amador Zinfandels higher and higher ratings. Try this one and you'll know why.


The Wine

1995 Old Vines Zinfandel, Picnic Hill Vineyard
Amador County, CA.
By Story Winery, Plymouth, CA, ph-(800) 713-6390
Tasting Notes—Loaded with berry flavors plus plenty of backbone, partly due to the high 14.5% alcohol content. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Price—$18.95


Postscript

From the U.C.-Davis tome on Principles of Winemaking: It is not intuitively obvious that a robust vine bursting with healthy shoot growth is not desireable for the production of [high quality] wine grapes...This excess vigor is not a problem in old, depleted vineyards with devigorated rootstock, [such as 90-year-old Picnic Hill].


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 and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


 


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