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by Fred McMillin
The Zinfandel Magic Spell
The father of California winemaking, Count Agoston Haraszthy,(pictured), owned a vineyard south of San Francisco. He received a shipment of vines from Europe, including the Zinfandel, a variety from his native Hungary. He planted his Zinfandel, the first ever known in California, in the spring of 1852. Ten years later Haraszthy produced California's first Zinfandel wine.
Above is Prof. Thomas Pinney's account of the early understanding of the arrival of California's most widely-planted red wine grape. However, California's original Zin actually arrived by a different route. Here are the highlights.
1830—The Zinfandel has reached the U.S.A. And is being
grown in the nursery of William Prince on Long Island, New
That takes care of the original Zin. Now let's turn to the BEST Zin. Here's the top bottle my panel has tasted this year.
1996 Especial Zinfandel, Paso Robles
Note: For more about Peachy Canyon, see the recent Oct. 26, 1998 WineDay titled, " A Peachy Zin."
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