Zinfandel : a history of a grape and its wine

by Sullivan, Charles L. 1932-

Format: Print Book 2003
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction SB389.S94 2003
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  SB389.S94 2003
The Zinfandel grape--currently producing big, rich, luscious styles of red wine--has a large, loyal, even fanatical following in California and around the world. The grape, grown predominantly in California, has acquired an almost mythic status--in part because of the caliber of its wines and its remarkable versatility, and in part because of the mystery surrounding its origins. Charles Sullivan, a leading expert on the history of California wine, has at last written the definitive history of Zinfandel. Here he brings together his deep knowledge of wine with the results of his extensive research on the grape in the United States and Europe in a book that will entertain and enlighten wine aficionados and casual enthusiasts. In this lively book, Sullivan dispels the false legend that has obscured Zinfandel's history for almost a century, reveals the latest scientific findings about the grape's European roots, shares his thoughts on the quality of the wines now being produced, and looks to the future of this remarkable grape.

Sullivan reconstructs Zinfandel's journey through history--taking us from Austria to the East Coast of the U.S. in the 1820s, to Gold Rush California, and through the early days of the state's wine industry. He considers the ups and downs of the grape's popularity, including its most recent and, according to Sullivan, most brilliant "up." He also unravels the two great mysteries surrounding Zinfandel: the myth of Agoston Haraszthy's role in importing Zinfandel, and the heated controversy over the relationship between California Zinfandel and Italian Primitivo. Sullivan ends with his assessments of the 2001 and 2002 vintages, firmly setting the history of Zinfandel into the chronicles of grape history.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Wine historians have long debated the true origins of America's unique wine grape, zinfandel. Though much of today's zinfandel harvest goes to produce sweet and insipid jug roses, more and more oenophiles have come to appreciate zinfandel's big, peppery, full-bodied red wines that stand with the world's best. Through meticulous research, Sullivan demonstrates that the zinfandel grape came to California, not through the Hungarian Agoston Haraszthy in the 1860s, but from decades-earlier shipments of vinifera varieties from New England nurseries. The grape gradually spread throughout California's vineyards until winemakers discovered that zinfandel wine could rival its French competitors when treated knowledgeably and respectfully. The robust economy of the 1980s meant fat times for growers of premium zinfandel, and the variety's popularity grew as vintners experimented with new styles. The discovery in the 1990s that Italy's primitive grape may be identical with the zinfandel set off competition between Old World and New World to see if wine tasters could distinguish one country's wine from the other's. Wine buffs, scholars, and historians will appreciate the author's painstaking archival search. --Mark Knoblauch Copyright 2003 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Series California studies in food and culture ; 10.
Subjects Grapes -- California -- History.
Viticulture -- California -- History.
Wine and wine making -- California -- History.
Publisher Berkeley :University of California Press,2003
Language English
Description xxii, 224 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm.
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 209-212) and index.
ISBN 0520239695 (cloth : alk. paper)
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