Zinfandel is native to Croatia and was later planted in Italy but California is where the variety became a hot shot. Zinfandel is able to produce large yields in hot climates and quickly became a darling of miners during the Gold Rush, thanks in part to the hard working Italian Americans that ran boarding houses. More than a century and a half later, the world still loves Zin. The number of California wineries producing serious Zinfandel has proliferated. Hillside vineyards are perfect because of the well drained soil. Warm viticultural areas, rather than hot climates, have been sought to avoid raisins and excess alcohol. Viticulturalists have started limiting yields to concentrate all the vines energy into fewer grape clusters and vintners have started to use French oak barrels. The results have been so successful that Zinfandel plantings now include Australia, South Africa and even Hermitage, in the northern Rhone. Navarro has long term contracts with five family-owned vineyards planted between 1930 and 1969 on well drained hillsides; the warm climate is moderated by the Russian River allowing the grapes to ripen without excess raisining.
During Prohibition hillside Zinfandel vineyards were popular because they hid the clandestine crop. Today hillside Zin vineyards are popular because the soils are thin and the slopes drain well.
Jim makes sure that only the best lots of Navarro Zinfandel went into this wine and the rest was relegated to our house red, Navarrouge.
The wine was fermented in open top tanks, punched down by hand, and aged ten months in seasoned French oak barrels. "Exceptional. Bright, zesty aroma of raspberry jam, hints of spice and superb handling of tannins so the wine is succulent and still crisp, so it will work with rustic meat dishes. A bargain!" -VintageExperiences.com Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.
Don't wear party clothes to punch down Zin; it's dirty but heady work.