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Browse by Grape - Zinfandel/Primitivo

The red grape Californian winemakers like to call their own. It is in fact Primitivo (from the southern Italian region of Puglia), and can occasionally be almost identical to its Italian twin. Good Zinfandel should be dark (forget that pink stuff you see in supermarkets), richly flavoured with layers of blackberry and bramble fruit, chocolate and spice, with a curiously sweet twist on the finish. The original red version is still very popular and the best examples are highly sought after. Sadly it is the popularity of the pink version that dictates the enormous amount of acreage devoted to its plantings. Changes made over generations of wine producers have however, left the Primitivo grape entirely unique. The grapes are grown on very steep hills, which are dotted with caves, and the variation in temperature between the day and night is quite dramatic. The name does not derive from it being ‘primitive’, but from the fact it is ‘primaticcio’ i.e. one of the first grapes to harvest each year. It was originally used as a blending wine with lighter varieties from the north but now stands up on its own as a wine of exceptional standard.

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