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Jul 3, 2006 07:46 PM

White Zin [moved topic digression from Not About Food board]

Well, we should not knock white zin too hard: it was white zin that got more Americans over their fear of wine corks and really made the wine industry in our country boom. On the 4th of July, a bit of white zin might not be in such bad taste after all.

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  1. Scherrer makes a delicious Vin Gris from world-class Sonoma County Zinfandel fruit. Try it on the Fourth if you can find it.

    Agree about white zin's historic role. Actually, the way was lead by Mateus rose before that. Once white zin came on the market, and at a lower price, Mateus sales in the States plummeted until near nil, whereas it had once been the top wine brand.

    And, it's other lasting contribution is that the white zin provided a market for many old zinfandel vineyards that might otherwise have been ripped out as their production declined. I can't tell you how many owners of vineyards whose names you'd recognize from top-rated single vineyard zins have told me that 15 or 20 years ago, their crop all went into white zinfandel production and they were thrilled to have a customer for the fruit.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      So true what you say about the wonderful old zin vines. One of the special experiences N.Cal people have accessible to them is to stroll among these hoary beautiful beings.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Back in the late '60s/early '70s, a Santa Clara County winemaker called Gemello made a very nice dry Zinfandel rosé, not at all like that sweetish "white" stuff. At that time, virtually all Zins were made dry and red, which is to my taste exactly as it should be. Nice to see that coming back.

        1. re: Will Owen

          I don't think I've ever had a Gemello zin. I've been lucky to try some Gemello cabs from the late 60's and early 70's when the wines were 25+ years old, and they were great.

          Gemello's granddaughter, Sandy Obester, carried on the tradition. I found that her best wine was the Monterey County Riesling. The Obester winery changed hands 3 years ago and will be rechristened La Nebbia.

          Mario Gemello's obit -

        2. re: Melanie Wong

          If memory serves, Mateus was originally a spritzy bubbly wine, but in those days, I guess, sparkling wines paid a higher tariff, so Mateus had to take the bubbles out and that hurt sales as well.

          I think that's what I remember.


          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Last Sunday I tasted the 2005 Vin Gris from Scherrer at the winery's open house. This vintage is 55% PINOT NOIR and 45% Zin. I like it much better than before now that it's less than 14% alcohol and has crisper acidity.

            Disclaimer: Fred Scherrer is a personal acquaintance.