Zinfandel Grapes on Vine

California Zin Originated in Croatia

America’s signature wine, the California Zinfandel, has actually been found to have originated in Croatia! So exactly how did this ancient European grape come to be known as the an all-American one? 

University of California Davis professor and plant geneticist Carole Meredith says that the grape, known as crljenak kastelanski, is something researchers have positively traced as being the source of what is known as California’s “heritage grape.”

Croatia now has about 250 acres planted with the ancient varietal, but it was nearly extinct there until Meredith published a study connecting it with California zinfandel in the 1990s. Get the full story.

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