California has quite a number of old Zinfandel vineyards. Which of the following is one of the reasons why:

A. Zinfandel tends to be planted in obscure places, and thus “escapes” frequent replanting

B. Zinfandel costs more to replant than other varieties

C. Many old Zinfandel vineyards were saved by the creation of white Zinfandel

D. Zinfandel grows in terroirs that are not conducive to growing other varieties, and thus the vineyards that exist tend to be left alone


In California, one of the ironic (and lucky) twists of fate was how the creation of semi-sweet, bargain-priced white Zinfandel in 1972 saved thousands of acres of precious old Zinfandel vines from being torn out. Invented (reportedly by accident) by Bob Trinchero, owner of Sutter Home winery, white Zinfandel became so popular that by the 1980s, it was outselling every other type of wine in the US. For its part, Zinfandel (old and young) was the most planted red grape in California until 1998 when Cabernet Sauvignon superseded it. Now it’s number three.

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