Zinfandel (Primitivo)

Red grapeWe’re wrapping up two grapes into one here. But that is because the Primitivo grape from the area Puglia in Southern Italy has been proven to be the very same thing as the Californian grape Zinfandel.

If you love big bold reds and haven’t tried these yet I’m sure we’re onto a winner here. This grape thrives in warmer climates producing rich ripe wines that can have quite high alcohol. At its best Zinfandel should have a core of beautiful blueberry fruit with sweet licquorice twists. Italian Primitivo tends to more sweet plum and christmas cake flavours.

It can be a tricky customer for grape growers because bunches can ripen unevenly with green and raisin ripe grapes in one bunch. Therefore you may find a raisiny sweetness to many styles where the grapes have had to hang a long time to fully ripen.

The Facts

Moderate acidity & tannin, but tendency to high alcohol. Often aged in oak given richer vanilla and mocha spice flavours.


Grenache/Garnacha, Monastrell/Mourvedre, Bobal (Spain), Plavic Mali (Croatia)

Classic Regions

Italy: Puglia

USA: California – Lodi, Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles

Food Matches

Hard cheese, Tomato based dishes, barbeque meats