For the first time, Wine Speak dives deeply into Zinfandel, California’s heritage grape. Zinfandel continues to evolve in the modern era, ranging from big, jammy wines to leaner, spicier expressions. In this panel discussion, two leading Zinfandel producers—one from the Central Coast, another from the North Coast—will share their philosophies on this native variety, and answer a key question along the way: What does Zinfandel’s past tell us about its future?
As the proprietor and winemaker at Linne Calodo, Matt has established himself as a Paso Robles icon. He founded Linne Calodo with his wife Maureen in 2002, and his wines were met with immediate critical acclaim. Matt is a master at blending, focusing on Zinfandel and Rhône varieties from a comprehensive matrix of different vineyards, soils and ripeness levels. In doing so, he creates daring and distinctive blends such as Sticks and Stones, Contrarian and Problem Child. Matt’s experience with Zinfandel—both as a stand-alone variety and as a blending component—adds a wealth of insight to our discussion on California’s heritage grape.
Fred launched his Zinfandel “Old & Mature Vines” with the 1991 vintage, using fruit from his father’s vineyard (first planted in 1912), which is located on a bench in the Alexander Valley. “Being a noted, highly acclaimed Pinot Noir specialist Fred has a very distinct take on what old vine Zinfandel can be. We have been so enamored with how compelling, surprisingly elegant, well textured and balanced they are and hope Fred will shed some light on what he does and how he works his magic”.