Summer tastes spectacular, especially when sipping on a glass of fruity #WhiteZinfandel. Check out these 10 things you may not know about this ultimate Summer Sipper.
1. The story of White Zinfandel begins back in the early 1970s.
Trying to intensify Sutter Home’s acclaimed Amador County Zinfandel, winemaker Bob Trinchero drew off some of the free-run juice. Admiring French rosés, he fermented and barrel-aged the free-run juice, bottling a small number of cases as a tasting-room exclusive.
2. Sutter Home White Zinfandel was originally called “Oeil de Perdrix.”
Bob gave his pink-tinged wine a French name, Oeil de Perdrix (“Eye of the Partridge”), a descriptive term for white wines made from red grapes in France. But U.S. laws require an English-language description, so “a white zinfandel wine” was included in small print.
3. In 1975, something unexpected happened.
The White Zinfandel experienced a stuck-fermentation that year, stalling before all of the grape sugar could be converted into alcohol, leaving about 2% residual sugar.
4. White Zinfandel as it’s known today was born from this “mistake.”
Bottling the slightly sweet, pale pink vintage as is (and removing “Oeil de Perdrix”), Sutter Home introduced the White Zinfandel we still love today.
5. It quickly became America’s favorite wine.
By the mid-1980s, Sutter Home White Zinfandel was America’s most-popular premium wine.
6. Many discovered their love of wine thanks to White Zinfandel.
Ask wine lovers and many will say White Zinfandel was first to fill their glass, later trying Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir. Today, an estimated one in every five U.S. wine drinkers drinks White Zinfandel.
7. The popularity of White Zinfandel saved “old vine” vineyards.
Thanks to the public’s thirst for White Zinfandel, other wineries followed Sutter Home’s lead. Without the demand for “old vine” Zinfandel grapes, these California vineyards would have been torn out to grow other varieties.
8. White Zinfandel is a very versatile wine.
With essences of strawberry and melon, Sutter Home White Zinfandel can be enjoyed on its own or with chicken, fish, and vegetarian entrees. It pairs particularly well with spicier fare like Mexican and Asian dishes.
9. Sutter Home White Zinfandel has helped raise nearly $1M for breast cancer research.
Led by our pink Sutter Home White Zinfandel, Sutter Home for Hope has raised nearly $1 million since 2001 to support breast cancer research, treatment, and education programs across the United States.
10. An American original, Sutter Home White Zinfandel is displayed in the Smithsonian.
Sutter Home also received Wine Spectator’s Distinguished Service Award in 1994 for “having introduced more Americans to wine on the table than anyone in history,” thanks to White Zinfandel. (Photo credit: National Museum of American History)
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