Zinfandel, but there’s probably very small amounts of a few other grapes thrown in there, also…
- Four Vines was established by a guy named Christian Tietje, who originally started out as a chef in Boston. In the 90’s he moved to San Francisco, with big dreams of becoming a winemaker (as you do). From there, he cut his teeth as cellar-master at Carneros Creek in Napa, and furthered his wine education under “Wine Masters in France” (I’m not too sure what that means….I took it directly from their website…).
- There’s no legal definition on the term “old vine”, so it’s sometimes difficult to decipher whether the grapes used to produce a particular wine are actually from “old vines”, or if the winery is just using it as a marketing ploy. I really hope that vineyards can come to some sort of mutual understanding over how this term is used! It’s just pointless otherwise! Every-time I hear someone say “I LOVE old vine Zinfandel!”, what I hear in my head is “I LOVE being potentially deceived by cool wine marketing!”
- Grape vines can live to be over 100 years old, but after 20 years they start to produce less fruit that is also more concentrated.
- The Four Vines Winery was acquired by the Purple Wine Company in 2010, which adds to their existing brands of Mark West, Avalon, Bex, and Rock Rabbit.
- The OVC (Old Vine Cuvee) sits at the more affordable (you never say “cheapest” when it comes to wine) end of the Four Vines portfolio. Upwards from there, the focus is on more vineyard-specific bottling’s from Paso Robles, Amador and Santa Barbara.
The Four Vines OVC is labeled with a simple California appellation, with the grapes being sourced from multiple vineyards in Mendocino, Amador, Sonoma, Paso Robles and Lodi.
Zinfandel is the #2 most widely planted red grape in California (right behind Cabernet). It’s considered California’s grape, even though it originated in Croatia. Bore you friends with that fact!
Wine grapes are grown in 46 of California’s 58 counties, covering 522,000 acres in 2005 (that’s about 815 sq. miles).
Zinfandel has a relatively high sugar content, and therefore is the main reason it.s used in the production of White Zinfandel. When it comes to sugar-content in grapes, wine makers have the option to make either a sweeter wine, or just use all that sugar in the fermentation to produce a wine of a higher alcohol content. For this reason, Zinfandel normally has a higher alcohol than other red Californian wines.
- The oldest vine in the U.S. is the Mother Vine, located in North Carolina (of all places). The vine is over 400 years old, with historical evidence dating back to the 1720’s.
Black fruit dominates, but doesn’t overwhelm. Blackberry and plum is big and rich, also with rhubarb and a little ripe raspberry; inter-woven with cedar bark, spice, and nutmeg. No burning sensation from the alcohol, which is nice! An extremely easy-drinking Zin, and definitely delivers for the $’s.
The bonus with the Four Vines OVC is that the alcohol isn’t crazy-out-of-control unlike a lot of the other Zin’s on the market, you’ll therefore have an easier time when it comes to food pairing.
For this all-American Zin, I recommend an all-American food pairing, such as; barbecue ribs, chili, burgers, as well as hearty stews, red sauce meaty pizza, and a monster steak!
$12.99 (average retail)
Click here for a list of distributors.