There’s some cheerful confusion about Zin’s origins – it’s a black grape known in its native Croatia as Crljenak Kaštelanski (no pronunciation guide!) and in Puglia, Italy’s heel, as Primitivo. But California grows far more Zin than anywhere else, by a long shot. ‘Zinfindal’ was included in a shipment of plants from the East Coast in 1852, and was soon growing in both Napa and Sonoma. Many was the miner during the Gold Rush whose usual drink was Zinfandel. Today, many of Cali’s oldest, most prized vines are Zinfandel (“Century Old”); often in field blends, these produce exceptional wines, especially when grown on hillside sites cool enough for a long growing season. We’ll explore Dry Creek Valley for sure, famed for its aptitude for Zin, but other regions too. Maybe a Primitivo will make an appearance!