Zin style moves back to balance

2nd January, 2014 by Patrick Schmitt

California’s Zinfandels are returning to a less alcoholic and more balanced style, prompted by a run of cooler vintages, believes the region’s most prominent producer of the grape.

Joel Peterson is senior vice president at Constellation Wines US and former president of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP)

Following a Zinfandel tasting as part of last October’s California Wine Summit, Joel Peterson, known as “the godfather of Zin”, spoke to db about the stylistic evolution of the variety during his career in the wine industry, which spans more than 30 years.

In particular, he recorded a “return to a balanced, vineyard appropriate approach” after a period during the last decade when producers were making wines that were only “good for….

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3 Responses to “Zin style moves back to balance”

  1. zin_guy says:

    I believe the writer ought to fact check “Turley Hill’s 1994 zin”. Turley did in fact make a 94 Hayne zin, and Marinelli (steve ryan, i think) also made a 94 from the Jackass Hill vineyard that parker also gushed over.

    There is no Turley Hill producer that I know of.

  2. zin_guy says:


  3. Patrick Schmitt says:

    Thank you for pointing out the error above – I have corrected the copy.

  4. Scott Harvey says:

    Sure is great to see talk about bringing Zinfandel back to the old world style. When made in a ripe, but not over ripe style the variety has a great ability to talk to you. It will say, I’m Zinfandel, I’m from a particular appellation and a particular vintage. Wonderful that Zinfandel may once again be known as the Claret of California wine. if anyone understands this, it’s Joel Peterson.

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