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Media Contact: Christina Turley
California Winemaker's Reclaim White Zin
TASTING TABLE NATIONAL
Good Heart, Bad Reputation
California winemakers reclaim White Zin
Here’s some shocking news: We’re drinking White Zinfandel. Willingly.
The maligned category, once a vessel for bulk, high-sugar grapes, had been all but exiled to the lowest grocery-store shelves. Then came Christina Turley, former sommelier to the Momofuku empire and heiress to California’s Turley Wine Cellars, perhaps the most storied Zinfandel producer on the Central Coast. It took her more than a year to convince her father that it wasn’t insane to consider making a White Zin; when she moved back to California from New York to work at the winery, she won the fight.
Last year, the winery released 100 cases of a bone-dry White Zinfandel. The wine was an irresistible redemption song, equal parts California heritage and tongue-in-cheek irony. It also launched a movement. Chris Brockaway of Broc Cellars released a tiny allotment (about 20 cases) of White Zin ($20 for 750 ml) earlier this month, sourced from a sunny plot that he picks early each year to avoid overexposure. It’s already mostly spoken for, and he plans to increase production next year.
Mauritson Wines in Healdsburg, California, is experimenting in the genre as well. Meanwhile, Turley has increased production: Five hundred cases of the 2012 Turley White Zinfandel will be released in May.
White Zin for the win.