(First posted on November 6, 2012 on www.tastingpanelmag.com)
In September, six top Dry Creek producers — Paul Draper (Ridge), Erik Miller (Kokomo), Clay Mauritson (Mauritson and Rockpile), Doug Nalle (Nalle), Hugh Chappelle (Quivira) and Julie Pedroncelli (Pedoncelli) — participated in a panel discussion at Ridge Winery, "Debunking Zinfandel Myths," led by journalist Patrick Comiskey.
Left to right: Hugh Chappelle, Erik Miller, Paul Draper, Clay Mauritson, Patrick Comiskey, Doug Nalle and Judy Pedroncelli.
With vines dating to pre-Prohibition, Zinfandel is the grape most uniquely associated with California viticulture and was the first variety to create a wine craze in California; it is still known as "as the wine of the people." Today there is a renewed interest in this varietal as Zinfandel is being rediscovered and re-appreciated.
But do we want Old World or New World style Zin?
"It's a troublesome question to address," Comiskey explained. "Dry Creek really is a place of effortless naturalness for American Zinfandel. It is in a climate range that guarantees ripeness, and Dry Creek seems ideally suited for getting Zinfandel ripe in a balanced way."