National Zinfandel Day Date in the current year: November 20, 2024

National Zinfandel Day The third Wednesday of November is the perfect day to sit back and relax with a glass of wine since it is National Zinfandel Day. This amazing holiday was created to celebrate one of the most popular wine grape varieties grown in California vineyards.

Zinfandel, also known as Primitivo in Italy and Crljenak Kaštelanski in Croatia, is a black-skin wine grape used to produce robust red wines and blush-style rosé wines. Red Zinfandel wines produced in cooler areas are characterized by red berry flavors, while warmer climate results in anise, blackberry, and pepper notes.

Primitivo is believed to have originated in Croatia. The grape found its way to Italy and Montenegro in the 18th century and was brought to the United States in the mid-19th century. There are records mentioning “Zinfardel”, “Zenfendal”, and “Zinfindal” that date to the late 1820s and early 1830s. These names were probably derived from “Zierfandler”, a white wine grape variety native to Austria.

Zinfandel was introduced to California during the California Gold Rush. The first Californian wine from Zinfandel was made by Joseph W. Osborn in the 1850s. By the end of the century, it became the most widespread grape variety in California. Sadly, most Zinfandel vines were ripped up during the Prohibition era, not as much due to Prohibition itself (homemade wines were allowed), but because of their vulnerability to rot during shipment to the East Coast. Following the end of Prohibition, Zinfandel fell into obscurity.

Zinfandel was rediscovered in the 1970s and became popular again when Bob Trinchero at Sutter Home Winery began to use it to produce White Zinfandel, a blush rosé wine. The success of Trinchero’s White Zinfandel eventually led to the revival of red Zinfandel wines. For several decades, Zinfandel was regarded as “America’s vine and wine”, but genetic research showed that it was identical to Primitivo.

Today, Zinfandel is grown in most of the continental United States, with the largest proportion being grown in California, where Zinfandel covers over 10% of vineyard land area. This versatile grape is used to produce an impressive variety of wine styles, ranging from blush rosés to robust red wines and port-style fortified wines.

National Zinfandel Day was launched in 2012 by Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP), a membership-based organization that focuses on advancing knowledge and appreciation for American Zinfandel, promoting its preservation, and celebrating the unique place of this popular wine grape in America’s history and culture.

What are the ways to celebrate National Zinfandel Day? If you live nearby a vineyard that grows Zinfandel or can make a trip to California in mid-November, the best way to celebrate is to schedule a vineyard or winery tour on or around the holiday. More accessible ways to celebrate include stopping by your local wine bar and enjoying a glass of Zinfandel, sharing a bottle of Zinfandel with friends, and spreading the word about the holiday and your love for Zinfandel on social media with the hashtag #NationalZinfandelDay.

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National Zinfandel Day, observances in the United States, wine holidays, Zinfandel, Primitivo, American wines