The Fun Facts and History of Zinfandel



I thought that today I would just give you some information on the grape Zinfandel. Since we will get tons of information about California wine areas. I also thought that I would switch it up a bit. I’m putting it in list form so that it is easy to jump around and come back to for different bits of information.


  • Grape Parentage: unconfirmed (may be of Croatian decent, Crljenak Kaštelanski is considered an extremely ancient grape)
  • Place of Origin: Dalmatian Coast, Croatia 
  • Origin of Grape Name: "Zinfandel", advertised as "Zinfendal" by a Boston nursery in 1832, may be a corruption of the Hungarian tzinifándli, a name derived from the German grape Zierfandler.  "Tribidrag" is the oldest known Croatian name for the variety, which appears in print as early as 1518.
  • Major Countries of Production:
    • USA (California)
      • San Joaquin County: 19.634 acres (2010, the Wine Institute)
      • Sonoma County: 5,194 acres (2010, the Wine Institute)
      • Madera County: 3,021 acres (2010, the Wine Institute)
      • San Luis Obispo: 2,899 acres (2010, the Wine Institute)
      • Fresno County: 2,735 acres (2010, the Wine Institute)
    • Italy: 11,133 ha (2010, Il Corriere Vinicolo)
  • Synonyms: 
    • Croatia: Tribidrag, Crljenak Kaštelanski
    • Italy (Puglia): Primitivo
    • Montenegro: Kratosija
  • Viticultural Characteristics: Thin-Skinned, Differential Ripening, Mid-Ripening, Compact Clusters
  • Common Blending Partners: Petite Sirah, Carignan, Grenache, Mission, and other "Mixed Blacks"