The Californian Zinfandel grape has its origin in Croatia and is genetically related to the Plavac mali grape.
Croatian wine, New World or Old World?
Zinfandel to Plavac Mali
Is Croatia a new or just a very old wine region? We can trace it by following the origin of the Californian Zinfandel grape. For many years the origin of Zinfandel has been a mystery. There are no native grapes in California and all grapes grown in the new world originally come from the old world.
For a long time it was assumed that the grape was derived from the Italian Primitivo. But that is not correct. At least partially not correct. Genetically Zinfandel is virtually identical to the Primitivo, but this Italian grape has its origins elsewhere, across the Adriatic Sea, in Croatian Dalmatia.
"The sister of ..."
It was then assumed that the Zinfandel has its origin from the most important red wine grape in Croatia, the Plavac Mali. However DNA research has revealed that Plavac Mali is not the ancestor of Zinfandel but a sister. Both grapes come from an almost forgotten and extinct Croatian grape, the Crljenak Kaštelanski. Unfortunately, hardly any wine is produced from this grape in Dalmatia nowadays. But of course they produce a lot of wine from 'little sister' Plavac Mali.
This grape produces rich, flavourful wines with high alcohol content and a lot of tannins. Flavours and aromas of blackberries, dark cherries, pepper and herbs often characterize the wines.
The famous Dingač
Croatiangrapes.com has some wonderful single varietal wines of the Plavac Mali in their range including the famous Croatian red wine, the Dingač. This wine is named after a geographic location, the Dingač wine region on the very steep slopes along the Adriatic Sea.
It is now possible to try some of this exceptional full-bodied red wines from Dalmatia. Croatiangrapes.com is selling a special ‘Super Red Box' with three Croatian red wines of excellence, including the famous Dingač.