It's great to see a cover story on Zinfandel in the June issue of Wine Spectator. Zinfandel is coming back strong on the national scene! But as we know around these parts, it never left, and if you're looking for great Zinfandel look no further than Dry Creek Valley. We work with Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley to promote this fantastic region and our proud history of Zinfandel.
Here are some great facts about Zinfandel in Dry Creek Valley courtesy of our friends at WDCV.
With roots reaching back over 140 years, the Zinfandel grape has a fabled history in Dry Creek Valley.
1849: California Gold Rush: European immigrants settled in Dry Creek Valley, attracted by a terroir, landscape and climate similar to that of their homelands.
1860s: Zinfandel farming was well underway, followed by production of the valley's first recorded wine in 1872.
1880s: Europe's phylloxera pandemic was a catalyst for viticulture in Dry Creek Valley. Vineyard acreage tripled to 883 acres, the majority Zinfandel. 75 local winegrowers owned the vines. 9 wineries were in operation.
1920s: Wineries disappeared with the onset of Prohibition. By 1933, only four of 16 wineries remained, two of which continue today - J. Pedroncelli and Frei Brothers. Many Zinfandel vineyards survived, but prunes and pears became a mainstay through the Depression and beyond.
1970s: Revitalization of the Dry Creek Valley wine industry started, with longtime families and newcomers rescuing old vineyards, planting new vineyards, and establishing wineries focused on creating world class Zinfandel.
Today: Over 9,000 acres of vineyards cover the valley, providing exceptional fruit to over 60 wineries - nearly all of which are family-owned. Many of the original families continue to farm the vineyards with successive generations producing premium Zinfandel based on the tradition of their fathers and grandfathers. Establishing roots for everyone that came after.
Pretty cool little history of this great winegrowing region. As for us at Collier Falls, we have 10 acres of Zinfandel grapes planted in 1982 and 1997, and we're proud to have our Zinfandel be a part of the tradition. We're family-owned like so many of our eighbors of course, and although we can't claim 3rd or 4th generation status, I'm happy to represent the 2nd generation of Collier Falls!