Zinfandel is a variety of black-skinned wine grape. The variety is planted in over
10 percent of California vineyards. Uniquely American, this exuberant red wine is
capable of producing top quality red wines that can rival Cabernet Sauvignon. It
offers an array of flavors including black and red fruit, spice, pepper, tar, licorice
Zinfandel vines are quite vigorous and grow best in climates that are warm but not
too hot, because grapes may shrivel in hot weather. Zinfandel's thin-skinned grapes
grow in large, tight bunches. The fruit ripen fairly early and produce juice with
high sugar levels. If weather conditions permit, the grapes may be late-harvested
to make dessert wine. Zinfandel is often praised for its ability to reflect both
its terroir and its winemaker's style and skill.
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