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Wine of the Week: Zinfandels for an All-American Fourth of July

Wine expert Scott Greenberg suggests four Zinfandel wines perfect to sip this Fourth of July.

Celebrating the birth of our nation this year is going to look very different than in years past.

Gone is the gathering on the Capitol lawn to listen to the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as the mass gatherings along the National Mall to gaze upon the amazing fireworks display.

This year’s celebrations will probably include more intimate backyard barbecues and watching fireworks from balconies or on television sets.

But that does not have to stop you from celebrating the anniversary of the founding of our country this weekend with the one grape that America lays claim to as its own: Zinfandel.

Zinfandel has long been considered the All-American grape.

According to Zinfandel lore, a Bostonian nursery owner, George Gibbs, brought the first vine cuttings back from Vienna, Austria, in the 1820s. But it’s a little more complicated than that.

It turns out that the Primitivo grape in Puglia, Italy, was found to be genetically identical to Zinfandel, but further genetic testing suggests that the grape actually originated from Croatia.

In 2001, researchers discovered grape vines known as “Crljenak Kaštelanski” on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast that turned out to be a perfect DNA match with the DNA of California Zinfandel.

So how did it end up in Austria?

Well, it is possible that Austria obtained the vines during its rule over Croatia. And then the…

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