Although Shakespeare may argue that "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," at Williams Selyem we don't believe that a wine by the name of Crljenak Kastelanski, (pronounced something like sirl-YEN-ack kastel-AN-ski) would be half as popular today as the same grape named Zinfandel.
Through the effort of Dr. Carole Meredith and her team at UC Davis in California, along with the help of two Croatian researchers at the University of Zagreb, it has finally been verified that the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski is exactly the same grape varietal as Zinfandel and Primitivo.
In the 1820s, the first Zinfandel vine (spelled Zinfendal) was identified in a Flushing, NY nursery catalog. The vine is thought to have come from Austria. In the 18th century, vines were collected from every part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which then included what we call Croatia. The vines were then planted in the gardens of the imperial palace in Vienna and from there sent the new world.
Zinfandel traveled west with the Gold Rush of the 1850s and quickly became a very popular varietal. In the 1800s, Zinfandel was the most commonly grown grape in the Russian River Valley. It was also the grape most favored by home winemakers during Prohibition.
Today, the Russian River Valley boasts a number of Zinfandel vineyards with 90 and 100 year old vines that are appreciated for their depth of flavor. Whether old or young vineyards, the Williams Selyem Zinfandels are definitely wines that will keep you coming back for more.
Fall 2013 - Coming soon!
- 2011 Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel