FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: For ZAP: Julie Ann Kodmur, 707/963-9632, firstname.lastname@example.org , www.zinfandel.org
For State Senator Carole Migden: John Vigna, 916/651-4003 or email email@example.com
ZAP Statement on the Introduction of SB 1253
Rough & Ready, California—The Association of Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP), a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization, has issued the following statement in connection with the introduction of Senate Bill 1253 by State Senator Carole Migden designating Zinfandel the official state wine:
“We were totally surprised and can’t help but be delighted,” said Julie Johnson, ZAP’s President and owner of Tres Sabores Winery, located in Rutherford in the Napa Valley. “We are so appreciative of the Senator’s enthusiasm for our favorite wine grape varietal. This is unprecedented recognition of Zinfandel’s distinctive history in California,” she adds.
The Association has not yet taken a position on the legislation. “We were not involved in the bill’s development and have not seen the language,” states Bruce Walker, ZAP’s Secretary and Co-owner of Starry Night Winery. “We will be in touch with our members to see what they have to say about it. Of course, many of our 315 winery members grow and produce varietals other than Zinfandel from virtually all of the premium growing regions in the state.”
“California wine in general is increasingly recognized around the world for its quality and diversity. In my opinion, selecting Zinfandel as the state grape takes nothing away from the many other grape varieties which are grown in California. This is a huge tribute to the California wine industry and Zinfandel’s place within that,” said Joel Peterson, past ZAP President and Winemaker for Ravenswood.
While other varieties, including Zinfandel, have European origins, Zinfandel was the most widely planted premium wine grape varietal during California’s first wine boom in the 1870s, receiving worldwide acclaim. Thus the term “heritage grape” was developed by the UC Davis Department of Viticulture & Enology in establishing their Zinfandel research vineyards.
Zinfandel is a significant part of California’s premium wine grape growing, ranking second overall in red wine grape acres planted behind Cabernet Sauvignon. Zinfandel grapes are planted in virtually every premium wine grape-growing region in California. Zinfandel is also the one premium wine grape with a name tied to a location in America. Wine historians have documented that the name “Zinfandel” was first used to describe this grape as early as 1832, establishing a unique identity in this country for the varietal.
Over 10,000 wine enthusiasts from all over the world celebrated Zinfandel at ZAP’s 15th Anniversary Zinfandel Festival held in San Francisco at the end of January in four days of events including an enormous tasting at Ft. Mason. Zinfandel producers are proud to be a part of the California wine community, which contributes $49 billion annually to California’s economy.
# # #
For more information on ZAP and Zinfandel, including details about The Heritage Vineyards and the 15th Annual Festival, visit:
ZAP is dedicated to advancing public knowledge of and appreciation for American Zinfandel
and its unique place in our culture and history.