Zinfandel: Articles on the Zinfandel Red Wine Grape Varietal

Napa Valley Wineries with the Best Zinfandel

Napa Valley Zinfandels are celebrated for their easy drinking allure and bold juicy flavors making this varietal a total crowd pleaser. Zinfandels made in the Napa Valley are iconic, although some may say a little forgotten, however, it’s a flavor profile known for intense black fruits and spice which render Napa Valley Zinfandels as the most epically jammy varietal produced. The Napa Valley’s warm California climate is fundamental to winemaking and Napa Valley Zinfandels are a great example of how winemakers utilize that heat, skillfully harnessing the temperatures to produce some of the most intense wine the Napa Valley has to offer. Zinfandels crafted in the Napa Valley region, especially old vine Zinfandels, have exploding flavors that ripen outrageously giving life to wines that create an exceptional food and wine experience. When you find a way to always have excellent Napa Valley Zinfandel around it’s sure to illuminate any meal because Napa Valley Zinfandel is, more than anything else, a food pairing wine. These Napa Valley wineries with the best Zinfandel are recommendations specifically known for their outstanding, award-winning Zinfandel.

Sonoma's Must Try Zinfandels - 2015 Best of Sonoma


For the 2015 Best of Sonoma Lists we surveyed hundreds of local vintners asking for their inside perspective of the best wines, tasting rooms, and restaurants in Sonoma.

To help find the top Zinfandels that no wine aficionado should leave Sonoma without tasting, we asked over a hundred Sonoma vintners for their top picks (under $100).

Dry Creek Zinfandel: Foods to Pair with, and Meals that Call for, Dry Creek Zinfandel

Zinfandel—the grape Americans call their own. The story of Zinfandel mirrors the multicultural heritage of our country and the struggle of immigrants to make it in a new land. From white to red and sweet to dry, this is a grape that has been reinvented to suit the changing tastes of wine consumers across the country. Originally from Croatia, the grape showed up in the US with Italian immigrants in the 1800s (who called it, as it is still known today in Italy, Primitivo). More than a century later it was nearly extinct with vines ripped up in favor of international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. But the huge popularity of white Zin in the 1980s and 1990s saved the grape from obscurity and nowadays the finest expression of Zinfandel comes not from Croatia or Italy but from California where it is produced as a dry red wine that can be light bodied and chockfull of ripe fruit or rich and inky with high alcohol and port-like characteristics.

Wines to Go Buy This Week: "Comfort Wines" - A Zinfandel by Glenn Hawk and Tulip Hill's Cabepulciano (yeah you read that right)

I live in San Francisco and January weather here means 50 degrees and rain. Constant bone-chilling rain, or so it seems. And before the rest of America emails to remind me how good I have it and how freaking cold it is in New York or Ohio or whatever other frozen tundra they call home, I'm just gonna say that when you are cold, you are cold, and comfort food -and comfort wine- goes a long way towards warming your heart when Old Man Winter starts to have his way with you. So with this in mind, I bring you two comfort wines you should go buy this week.   

Glenn Hawk Zinfandel - I typically don't gravitate to Zinfandel. I associate Zins with "cocktail wines", that is, wines that are delicious for a few sips of a single glass but can be a bit too fruity and overwhelming for those of us who tend towards enjoying multiple glasses. So I don't recommend many Zinfandels simply because I don't drink many of them. Every once in a while I stumble back down the Zinfandel path and am reminded of how good the varietal can be. I recently tried the 2009 Glenn Hawk Zinfandel from Livermore Valley (just south of Napa in the shadow of Mt. Diablo).

Best Zinfandel (For the Money)

IntoWine.com asked our wine experts to recommend the best value Zinfandel.  Here are there top picks for a good bottle of Zinfandel at an affordable price point:

California Zinfandel Wine Vintage Chart

California Zinfandel    
2010 88 D/H
2009 89 D/H

Cosentino Winery

The Vibe: 

Housed in an ivy-covered, French-chateau styles stone building, the family owned Cosentino winery continues to produce a wide variety of wines. While zinfandel comprises much of the 70,000 case production, visitors to their just-north-of-Yountville tasting room can sidle up to the copper counter and try a pinot grigio, chardonnay, cab, sangiovese, pinot noir or merlot. Winemaker Mitch Consentino prides himself on producing a wide variety of artisanal wines using traditional methods.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Groups
  • Small, private events (e.g. wine/cheese pairings)
  • Those seeking to try several different varietals sourced from several different areas
Not good for: 
  • Tours
  • Weddings
  • Picnics
Known For: 
Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sangiovese


7415 St. Helena Hwy
Yountville, CA 94599
United States
38° 24' 23.094" N, 122° 22' 9.5988" W
7415 St. Helena Hwy
Yountville, CA 94599
United States
38° 24' 23.094" N, 122° 22' 9.5988" W
Phone Number: 

Dashe Cellars: Making Zinfandel in Oakland

The wine business is a fickle mistress. Winery owners and winemakers chase elusive scores, the public makes buying decisions based on movies, hype and price, and critics seem to applaud fruit laden, high octane wines. So where does that leave Dashe Cellars in Oakland, CA? Right where they want to be.

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