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Zinfandel has been listed as one of the Agriculture, food and drink good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
September 15, 2008Good article nomineeListed
September 15, 2008Peer reviewReviewed
A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on December 24, 2007.
Current status: Good article

Two wineriesEdit

I simply added the name of two wineries that make significant contributions to this unique grape. Martinelli whose Jackass and Jackass Hill are considered to be among the best of big style zins and Seghesio whose makes a wide range of fine zins from bargain to excellent signle viyard wines.

On a more controversial note, I believe the statement that Zin is thick skin; and, therefore, survived prohibition is incorrect. Zin is very subject to rot because of its tight clusters. It did not ship well and the amount shipped back east for home wine making declined throughout prohibition. It was prized by local, California, home wine makers and this is why it survived prohibition. My source is the book Zinfandel by Sullivan.

Hearing no response to my above comment: I made the changes to why Zin survived prohibition. The source for the effect of zin's thin skinned tight bunches on transportability is Zinfandel by Charles Sullivan.--Veniceslug1 02:57, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

Why is Grgich omitted?Edit

After all, it was the owner of Grgich Hills who helped fund the study to identify Zinfandel - and I might say he produces a superior Zinfandel wine. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 2005-12-29

Yes, I've had some excellent Zinfandels from Croatian wineries in California. I think, though, that financial contributors to a research effort aren't really relevant to this article, even if one of the contributors happens to make wine. More relevant would be a description of the research. —Preceding unsigned comment added by amatulic (talkcontribs)


"port" should probably be place in quotes are changed to port like. A port is a fortified wine from Oporto, Portugal; and. therfore is never made from Zin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 2006-02-13

"Port" is one of those terms that the EU considers a protected designation, but which the USA treats as a generic term. Among the people I know they would all refer to a port-style wine as "port", regardless of where it came from. I think if you reserve the term for port from Oporto you sacrifice clarity to be pedantic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 2006-04-22
Nooo. Not only are you incorrect - UK Wikipedians would only ever use 'port' to refer to the stuff from the Douro, regardless of EU rules - but as a formal encyclopedia Wikipedia should use the 'formal' terms. (talk) 04:21, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
That "formal" definition only applies in the EU. Articles should reflect common usage too. —dgiestc 06:12, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. See Protected designation of origin. Although the US refuses to recognise these protected names, they should certainly not be capitalised if the name refer to US-origin wines, per champagne, parmesan, etc which are only ever capitalised (because PDO status = placename = proper noun) for the genuine article. If you want to write it as "port", I suppose that maybe common usage but I'd suggest using inverted commas ("port") to avoid confusion with wet places where ships dock ;o) --mikaultalk 08:22, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Articles should reflect common usage. I think it would be reasonable either to display the generic term in lowercase as mikaul suggests, or to use clearer descriptors. So "port" could be written as "port style" when referring to American ports, "champagne" should probably be called "sparkling wine" when referring to that product, and so on. At least we don't call all Chardonnays "Chablis"! -Amatulic (talk) 20:21, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Photos should be meaningfulEdit

The photo of a bottle that Agne27 inserted into the article is neither illuminating, helpful, explanatory, nor representative of Zinfandel wine labels (it's ugly too). And it's clearly a Ridge Winery bottle, which amounts to inappropriate advertising. This article is about the Zinfandel varietal; the grape not the wine, so a picture of a wine bottle adds nothing of value. If nobody can offer a compelling reason to keep it, it should be removed. Amatulic 01:39, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

As someone who personally can not stand the over-oaked fruit boom that is Ridge Zin, it was certainly not meant for advertizing. The meaning of the photo is to be an example of a bottle of Zin--a visual reference of a California Zin with varietal labeling that also gives note to it's Sonoma terrior. It's human nature to want to visualize something and it help to break up the monotony of paragraphs of text. I agree with you on the "ugly" part. My preference would be to have a picture of "Cardinal Zin"--one of the best wine names and colorful labels IMO. If anyone can get a copyright-safe picture of a different bottle to replace it, feel free. However, I wouldn't just remove the photo without having a better substitute to replace it. Agne 06:15, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I still don't see a compelling reason to keep it. As I said, this article is about the grape itself, not the wine. A picture of a barrel or a wine glass might serve the purpose better. There is no way anyone will ever agree on what would be a representative bottle of Zinfandel -- Sonoma Zins certainly don't set any standard (to me Amador Zins are far superior) -- and any label one could display would still create advertising or copyright problems. I have Zinfandel bottles with no label at all, but what good would that be? It's better to remove the picture. So what if the article is paragraphs of text? It's an encyclopedia; having lots of text is expected and normal. Provide a wine glass or barrel if you want, but even then I don't see the encyclopedic value in this article. Amatulic 01:50, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Origins ResearchEdit

I have made major revisions to this article, breaking it up into sections, expanding on the history and ancestry of Zinfandel (which allowed a mention of Grgich as requested above), and replacing the picture of the wine bottle with a picture of Zinfandel's ancestor vine. I took this picture myself when I visited the vineyard in Croatia recently, and I put it in public domain. I added personal POV notes to the summary of this picture because I thought they may be of interest but not appropriate for the article, but if they're inappropriate in the picture summary feel free to remove them. I think as "author notes" they're probably okay.

The additional information on history and ancestry I gathered from Croatian literature given to me personally by Ivica Radunić, the owner of the vineyard where Zinfandel's ancestor was discovered. I also include a reference to the account of Zinfandel's genetic history by Carole Meredith (the genetecist who discovered it). Amatulic 15:11, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Why include any wineries known for Zin?Edit

Is there any factual basis for the sentence near the end: "Wineries particularly known for their Zinfandel include Ravenswood Winery, Ridge Vineyards, Rosenblum Cellars, and Sutter Home Winery, the last having developed the 'White Zinfandel' that became such a popular seller." I can understand the value of including the last part about the originator of White Zin, but who is to say what other wineries are "particularly known" for their Zinfandels? Is there a reference available, or is this just an advertisement or someone's list of personal favorites? I know I have not been particularly impressed with some on that list, so I wonder about including any at all. Amatulic 21:00, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

They would be known by their the volume of their sales and their expert scores. I share with you a personal distate for some of their product, however that is POV. I agree that a criteria for what makes a notable winery should be set up and that criteria applied, instead of our own personal tastes. Agne 21:12, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
You make a good point. I wonder where an unbiased source of such information about volume or scores can be found?
Hm, now that I think about it, expert scores might not be good indicator of how well-known a Zinfandel is, because a good score often causes a wine to become known, not the other way round. (In my experience the experts often miss on quality, though - there are many great Zins that the experts have never tasted, which I like better than some "98 point" publicized ones.) Sales volume would probably be a better indicator of how well known something is.
Okay, after much google searching, I found this, which indicates the highest-volume wines sold in restaurants, and 3 of the top 10 are Zinfandels — white Zinfandels. That surprises me. I'm skeptical that this correlates with overall sales volume, considering that I see more red Zin than white being produced in California wineries. But then, I don't visit the mega-operations. Amatulic 00:44, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
White Zin production dwarfs regular Zin production. There may be far fewer names that make it, but it's the third most popular varietal (4th if you're talking $$'s) out there. White Zin is almost 10% of the market (total number of cases), while Zin is just 1.5%. Here's a link for all the data. The Bethling 17:09, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Just speculating here....Could it be that the much larger volume of white Zin is because it is used in many blends, while red Zin is often sold as red Zin? Where I live there is no visible white Zin. I've never seen it. -- Fyslee (collaborate) 08:50, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Update: I have deleted the entire Notable producers section, because notability could not be established for any but Sutter Home, and it has attracted advertising and people who want to put their own POV-favorite in the list. Out it goes. Please discuss a valid rationale for restoring it here, before putting it back. -Amatulic 19:53, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with its removal. It bothered be from when I first started editing the article, which is why I had changed the White Zinfandel item on Sutter Home prior. The reason for it being on there before was not well stated. I think myself or someone else should do a section mentioning white zinfandel and Sutter Homes creation of the marketed product. However there is documented evidence of White Zinfandel production back to the introduction of Zinfandel to California according to Charles Sullivan's Book. When I have time, Ill work on that. I do not think that anyone should add back anything to do with notable producers as it was. It is pure opinion unless someone was to find every producer of Zinfandel there is and put it there, which would be a fruitless endeavor and would need to be constantly updated to be "encyclopedic". Christopher Tanner, CCC 19:18, 18 March 2007 (UTC)tanner-christopher

Cult statusEdit

I would think that its cult status could be mentioned. "To err is human, to Zin is divine!" -- Fyslee (collaborate) 22:32, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Do you have a reference for it? if so, go right ahead. —Dgiest c 22:51, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
how about "there are saints, and then there are Zinners"? Just being a bit irreverent here. I know someone who has been in the business for a long time and has an ancient sweatshirt with that slogan. Not really saying it should be included in the article! Novium 23:01, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
A little collection of Zin quotes and sayings could make the article more interesting. -- Fyslee (collaborate) 08:51, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Well maybe....providing there are reliable sources attached to the quotes and some encyclopedic context. A general list of random quotes and saying wouldn't be appropriate. AgneCheese/Wine 08:54, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Of course it should be encyclopedic, which can also include interesting information. Articles may be entertaining, besides informative. The Zin fans subculture has a few quotes and sayings that could be used in a description of that subculture. It's not a pressing issue. Maybe I'll get around to it one of these days. Here's an interesting example:
-- Fyslee (collaborate) 10:26, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Quotes such as those I do not feel appropriate for an encyclopedic article. They aren't facts. Parker's comment for example is his own personal opinion for the Pinot Noir, someone saying the same for Zinfandel would just be opinion as well. I think it is better to stick to facts than to talks of mysticism about wine. Besides being a non-encyclopedic concept, they also leave an air of snobbery. If it is to show a trend toward current popularity, then describing the arising of organizations such as ZAP or a proliferation of books like Sullivan's Zinfandel book or others would address this idea of cult status better. Writing with proper references to the Zinfandel language would be good as well. I fear the use of the word cult though, because anyone can be seen as a cult wine in an area somewhere in the world.Christopher Tanner, CCC 20:12, 8 March 2007 (UTC)tanner-christopher

Flavor descriptionEdit

Can anyone cite a source for a flavor description of Zinfandel? The article currently states:

Typically, Zinfandel tastes of white pepper with bramble and fresh or fermented red berries.

As pretentious as this sounds, I'm willing to accept it if someone wants to cite a reliable source. I've always found wine flavor descriptions to be absurd, but "bramble" is seriously pushing it.James A. Stewart 04:04, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. My guide to wine, beer, and spirits describes zinfandel as having intense fruit flavor. I have seen other sources describing it as spicy or peppery. I have no idea what "bramble" means. I'm going to remove it. If someone objects, restore it.
I'm sure bramble has a specific meaning to connoisseurs. In a professional publication I saw (not about Zinfandel) "gamy aromas of blackberry, asphalt and dust with lithe, lively flavors of black fruit" as an example of odd descriptors - it doesn't sound too appetizing to me, but I guess I'd have to try it! -Amatulic 04:46, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I assume that "bramble" refers to some ester or group of esters that characterise the flavour of blackberry fruits. To my uneducated palate the "cigar box" description fits better - a Google search for "Zinfandel cigar box" shows that it is often described this way. Maproom (talk) 10:54, 4 March 2010 (UTC)


The tone was highly US-centric, so I ended up completely rewriting it pretty much from scratch in accordance with WP:CSB, expanding the history section with more stuff from Sullivan and generally tidying it up. Could do with more on the different local styles, but it's a comfortable B now. I don't know if White Zinfandel is worth merging in, I understand that it's a distinct style but there's got to be a lot of overlap. I'm 60:40 in favour of a merge, but not that fussed. (talk) 04:21, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Great work. I added some fact tags to some areas that we could improve sourcing on. I will gladly help with finding those sources over the next couple days. AgneCheese/Wine 08:25, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I went through and added what sources I could. I'll keep looking for some more so that we can get this article in good shape for GA. AgneCheese/Wine 16:53, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Although I was initially disturbed at the re-write of my section on the discovery of Zinfandel's origins, I have to say that the re-write is an improvement in that it removed some turns of phrase I wrote that always bothered me. I wrote it from sources I obtained during a trip to Croatia (specifically a brochure from the University of Zagreb given to me by Ivica Radunić, as well as conversation with Radunić himself), so I couldn't realistically cite these, even though they are verifiable sources (just travel to Croatia and repeat what I did...). I'm glad to see more sources appear. Good job.

One thing that might deserve mention is that Ivica Radunić is now growing California Zinfandel in his vineyard, to compare its flavor with Crljenak Kaštelanski. The article now says Crljenak Kaštelanski is being grown in California, which I don't doubt, but it needs a citation or at least a name of a vineyard. -Amatulic (talk) 19:51, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Please watch the references!Edit

Please guys - Amatulic in particular - can we be a bit more careful about adding unverified "facts" into this article now that it is fairly densely referenced. It really starts harming the article, especially since we're trying to get those last few references before going for GA. For instance the Mirosevic and Meredith paper explicitly quotes Grgich as saying "Plavac mali, which our ampelographers say is an autochtonous cultivar, is for sure the same cultivar as one abroad very famous as Zinfandel". There is no reference (at the moment) that has him or others saying that PM is "its parent".
On the flip side I think you're being unfair in dismissing the line about the uncertainty of the origin as OR - maybe it could be rewritten, but it's just reflecting stuff that's in a number of the published papers, saying that so far it's only been traced to Croatia, but that doesn't mean it came from Croatia. I know explaining the 'fact' of an uncertainty is hard to do, but it's not OR to say that there is uncertainty.
On the flavours thing, as Agne posted there's a fairly definite relationship between ripeness and fruit flavours, the red berries develop first, in cooler climates, and the black berries and spice come with greater ripeness, either in hotter climates or with the earlier ripening Primitivo clone. Again you've walked all over the reference there which is from Joel Peterson - it's a proper reference from a recognised authority in a top publication, not some arbitrary tasting note.
And yes, Zin and Primitivo are clones in the viticultural sense - basicly the same variety but with minor viticultural differences. And to our anonymous editor - 10% of the market does not suggest that White Zin is "out of favour".
I was going to have a bit of a rewrite of the lead in which is now getting a bit cluttered - today's Wiki time was spent preparing for GA by clearing the red link of Zierfandler and creating an article for spinning cone to link to as jargon. I think we're now clear on that front? I never thought I would find myself contributing to the Chem Eng project!! FlagSteward (talk) 03:09, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't think I'm adding unverified facts, rather I'm removing what I see are POV edits and original research. If I did something to misrepresent a source, that was unintentional and I apologize. I have seen other sources saying that Plavac Mali was once thought to be a parent of Zinfandel, which is why I changed that bit; which was a mistake if it misrepresented the cited source. I noticed you didn't revert it, so I have reverted that edit just now.
As to the OR stuff, statements like "we will never know..." are OR and don't belong. I tried rephrasing it but then realized it wasn't even necessary; an encyclopedia article shouldn't draw conclusions for the reader, but present the facts to let readers draw their own. As to flavor, I thought it was a violation of WP:NPOV to single out specific regions in the lead, so I changed it to a general note on flavors that still didn't contradict the cited source.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the hard work you've put into this article. I will continue to be extremely picky about the NPOV and OR policies, however.-Amatulic (talk) 19:30, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks - although not saying anything may also lead readers to the wrong conclusion. It may hurt Croatian national pride, but a couple of the references explicitly mention a doubt along the lines of "ZPC may well originate in Greece or Turkey" and intuitively it wouldn't surprise me if the original cross did happen further east. Trouble is that the refs express that doubt in even more woolly fashion than I did, I'll see if I can find something a bit more solid. ;-/ It's a general problem in a lot of the wine articles, when there's often a lot of 'fundamental' doubt about the history of a grape, trying to convey that uncertainty in a way that works for the non-technical reader and yet is sufficiently 'factual' when a lot of the refs are even worse at getting the uncertainty across.
Oh and getting back to the topic of this section, I'm guilty of the same crime - Agne you couldn't just check that my rewrites of the USA and winemaking sections haven't broken any of your references? It's mostly just rearranging sentences, and the refs all seem to be Oz, so it should be OK, it just needed to flow a bit better. FlagSteward (talk) 12:58, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I've been following your changes and nothing jumped out as out of whack. It looks good. AgneCheese/Wine 13:07, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Cool - if we're at least thinking about FA, then it's good to inline reference sentence-by-sentence in any case, it's much easier to do it at the time when you have the books in front of you.
Meant to say, going back to the lead thing, Peterson explicitly mentions Napa and Sonoma as contrasting styles in his Decanter rant, so I think they work in the lead as it now is, particularly now that Primitivo is in there as well. (need to dig up a ref for Prim, but should be several in the existing refs.) I guess in some ways that lead is a microcosm of what's happening within the USA section, but it feels OK to me - and most importantly, I feel that it works well for the casual Wikipedian. Incidentally, I think the Plavac Mali confusion comes from the ambiguous word 'descendant' in some of the original papers. Secondary sources assume that means sexual reproduction, hence 'father-son' when I sense they just mean asexual propagation, with the possibility of picking up the odd mutation along the way so that you can't say that CK is identical to what emerged as Zin in the New World.FlagSteward (talk) 13:16, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd rather that the lead avoid mentioning any regions, and just describe the range of flavors (perhaps with respect to climate), because Zinfandel is grown all over the world and it seems wrong to have something so California-centric in the lead. That's why I originally deleted the regions. The way it's phrased now, though, lead looks okay, although I'd still prefer it to be region-neutral. -Amatulic (talk) 20:03, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
It's overstretching it a bit to say that it's grown 'all' over the world - going back to the 80/20 principle we're really looking at California and Puglia and then a small tail, of which Croatia is much more 'interesting' than its production of wine would suggest (at the moment), but even so.... And just thinking of my non-specialist friends in the UK who are sufficiently interested in wine to maybe look at this article - they won't have heard of subdivisions of Puglia such as Manduria, they will have heard of the Napa and they might have heard of Sonoma, but they won't have heard of most CA counties, nor of individual AVAs such as Dry Creek Valley. A sort of Pareto principle of 'heard-of-ness' if you will. And remember WP:LEAD - It is even more important (for the lead section) than for the rest of the article that the text be accessible....The subject should be placed in a context with which many readers could be expected to be familiar. For example, rather than giving the latitude and longitude of a town, it is better to state that it is the suburb of some city, or perhaps that it provides services for the farm country of xyz county. That sounds like it's explicitly encouraging us to give specific examples, and regardless of what the production stats say, Napa and Sonoma are "accessible" to the casual reader. FlagSteward (talk) 00:04, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
When I wrote "all over the world", I was thinking of Primitivo, which redirects to this article. Anyway, the lead is fine now the way it's written.
I'm still on vacation, just checking in... when I get back I'll try to get to work on a proposed replacement for the list of counties that will hopefully satisfy everyone, especially now that I see my NPOV tag is holding up GA assessment. -Amatulic (talk) 20:37, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Bottle pictures IIEdit

(split last section as it changes topic. FlagSteward (talk) 12:58, 21 December 2007 (UTC)) Speaking of which... if you look near the top of this talk page, you'll see a previous objection I raised to the appearance of a bottle with the brand name visible, on the grounds that it amounts to free advertising for a particular winery. Another such picture has appeared here. I admit the caption makes the bottle images more relevant, although that caption can easily be merged into the article text. If a picture is needed to break up the monotony, I can submit a picture of a Zinfandel bottle with no words on the label if anyone thinks it would be useful. -Amatulic (talk) 19:30, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

There is some benefit in showing the readers the type of information that appears on a wine bottle of a particular wine grape/style. A bottle with no words wouldn't be very useful. I disagree that showing a bottle from a particular winery is free advertising and I am one of the staunchest supporters in believing that Wikipedia is not a wine guide. However I realize that I need to hold those strong leanings in check by the desire to best serve the encyclopedia and know that seeing a visual example of something is of immense benefit to the reader for a variety of reasons. Especially in the case of Flag's photo where you can see how wineries (and who cares which winery?) uses the term "old vine" to distinguish this as something special. There is going to be more people who get some educational benefit out of the image than in any supposed "advertising" benefit that the wineries are going to get. Of course I would prefer a photo with a glass of wine and the wine bottle but when we get to the days where we have a riches of free wine photos, we can always evaluate which photos best serves the articles needs in limited space. Till then, I see no reason to remove Flag's photo. AgneCheese/Wine 09:33, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
This is perhaps one for the main Project talk page, but I think that even in general one photo of a bottle is quite accetpable, the point of an illustration is to illustrate after all and for the average Wikipedian the only form in which they will encounter Zinfandel is as a bottle on the shop shelf, so the article is inevitably as much about the wine as the grape. In this case the photo is particularly encyclopaedic, as it illustrates the Lodi old vine thing explicitly mentioned in the text, and it is a visual reminder to people in the US and Croatia of the Italian story. Shame they use such a low contrast label, but it was the best I had to hand.... You yourself criticised the previous photo as not being "representative of Zinfandel wine labels" - implying that photos that were "representative of Zinfandel wine labels" would be acceptable illustrations in your eyes, as long as other criteria were met.
The first question you should be asking about an image is - what's the copyright situation? Then - is it encyclopaedic? A failure on either of those counts and it's automatically out. But you should assume that an image should be rejected just because it is identifiable as the product of a particular company. For instance, Taxicab has pictures that are readily identifiable as a Prius and as a LTI Fairway, and the Cheese article has photos which are obviously of specific brands such as Cambozola, Rosenborg etc. And that's an FA, so if there were any issues with 'advertising' in such photos, you can be sure that they would have been picked up in the FA process. That's because the ban on 'advertising' works a bit differently to how you think - WP:NOT#ADVERTISING merely bans "self promotion" and in general allows stuff about companies and products as long as they are "objective and unbiased style". That's obviously for articles, but it's the same with images. If I accompanied that photo with text suggesting that Ravenswood or Archidamo was the best wine in the world, that would not be objective, whereas the current text is objective. And you'll just have to trust me that I don't work for either company, ;-/ so self-promotion is not an issue.
The other issue is WP:SPAM. It's hard to see how one image of a bottle on the article about the wine and the grape fails that. If I was plastering the hamburger and Burger King and McDonald's and Big Mac articles with pictures of a particular wine, that would be spamming (even though I can give you references where Hugh Johnson recs Zinfandel with burgers); on the other hand a picture of vin santo in the biscotti article or Sauternes and foie gras would be encyclopaedic as they are well known, very traditional combinations. Ultimately it's about using a bit of WP:SENSE. Personally I think the copyright issue is more of a worry, although I'm becoming persuaded that as long as they're not cropped so tight that you can't see the bottle, and it's not high resolution, then we're probably OK.
I like my photo just because it has Zin and Prim together, others we could do with would be an Italian wine labelled as Zin (I've seen 1 or 2 on lists, but they're not common in the UK), and red and white Zin in the glass side by side (and any other colour variants you can find).FlagSteward (talk) 12:58, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Well said and I agree that this will be worthwhile to discuss on the project page. And speaking of pics, I still like the White Zin in the plastic cups. :p AgneCheese/Wine 13:09, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
That could so be taken out of context to destroy your wine cred. ;-/ I think for this article a side-by-side would be more encyclopaedic though. FlagSteward (talk) 13:19, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
LOL, I've been "outed" :p I agree a side by side is the best, but as a back up..... :) AgneCheese/Wine 13:47, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I didn't expect what I thought was a mild objection to generate that much discussion. If the winery name was cropped off, I wouldn't have even raised the issue. Cropping would alleviate my concern, but I'm okay with the picture as is.
I can probably supply all sorts of pictures, just say what you want. There was a time when Agne wanted a picture of a bottle of Zinfandel next to a glass of wine. I can do that without revealing the winemaker if anyone thinks it would be useful (I have some bottles of Zinfandel with a generic-looking logo on one side, no words, and it's unlikely anyone would recognize the logo).
Heh. White Zin in plastic cups.... does anyone remember, oh, a couple decades ago when some wineries experimented with marketing Chablis in cans? Thankfully nothing came of that, to my knowledge. Takes all the romance out of it, if you ask me. -Amatulic (talk) 19:00, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Well I would still love to see a pic of Zin in the glass. I've been trying the last few days and, though getting pleasantly tipsy with drinking the leftovers, have not yet be able to get a decent pic. Chablis in cans? Oh god no! What about the metal taste? Though that wouldn't be a bad picture for our Chablis (wine) article either. ;) AgneCheese/Wine 19:08, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
All that wine making your camera hand unsteady, eh? :)
I'd guess the metal taste is why it never went anywhere. I remember reading about this in 1981 or thereabout. -Amatulic (talk) 19:48, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Aha! I found the source!! 1981, like I thought. -Amatulic (talk) 19:55, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I just got an message requesting a comment here on the topic of individual wineries being included in the article. This somewhat relates to an earlier debate taken here back in April/March but I find them two separate topics needing individual analysis. I still believe individual wineries should not be listed, unless they are uniquely significant. Argument can certainly be made for putting a picture up of a Sutter Home bottle of White Zinfandel as it is a unique product that they began marketing, although the product did exist beforehand, they were the marketing geniuses behind it. As for a generic bottle of Zinfandel, this can be more difficult. However, an argument again can be made, hopefully with a relevant resource, that Ravenswood, through Joel Peterson has been pivotal in the emergence of a certain style of modern Zinfandel, but to restate proper sourcing is necessary to give context to the reason for using that picture. Just using any bottle that states Old Vine Zinfandel does not seem appropriate, I would argue that finding the first vineyard to commercially use the term would be a better idea for a picture, than to just use the Ravenswood bottle for that example, again the same thing would go for the Primitivo bottle.
On a side note, for those of you discussing the Chablis in a can, Copola has been producing his Sophia sparkling wine in a (Red Bull sized) can for a few years now, it comes in a pack of four with sippie straws. From what I heard, he had it created for his daughter's wedding.--Chef Christopher Allen Tanner, CCC (talk) 20:36, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Can you explain exactly what rule is being contravened, rather than just talking vaguely about "not appropriate"? Yes, it would be lovely to have the first bottle to ever use the term Old Vine, but back in the real world, I doubt we're going to find some 1870 bottle of Zin.... (sic) ;-/ And I suspect you'll find that the first Primitivo bottle to use the name was some time in the early 1800's. If you view the advertising as a bit of an issue then surely it's better to have the two bottles on one photo, rather than in 2 photos which are more open to claims of self-promotion?
On the can front, Stowells have been selling tins in the UK for ages, and there's now one or two Aussie producers doing them, plus ISTR a Prosecco of some kind.... With ever increasing restrictions on taking eg glass bottles to sporting events, we're bound to see more of them. Mind you, in France they package wine like fruit juice. FlagSteward (talk) 03:50, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
The use of the term "Old Vine" is a recent marketing phenomenon that has begun in the last few decades, it is not something that would've occurred in the 1800's especially as the vines were not "old" at that time and then phyloxera had caused the need to replant everything again. Not to mention most of what has been planted in California was done in the late 1850s. Primitivo has only been recognized as a varietal since the 1970s by the Italian government as well, so bottles have only appeared with that name since then. Advertising isn't my sole point for any of this at all, my point is proper context of history, but as you stated even these it might be difficult to find right away, but with time I'm sure something might turn up.--Chef Christopher Allen Tanner, CCC (talk) 19:26, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Excellent point and I agree that we must keep in mind our very limited and finite resources of "FREE" images. We must balanced the needs of the encyclopedia in providing visual illustrations with the resources we have and within Wikipedia's policies. As we get better free images, we can always replace the ones that are less than ideal. AgneCheese/Wine 14:32, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Important note on GAEdit

As a veteran GA reviewer and a project member, I can tell you right now that the article would at present be quick-failed if you nominated it. We need to make sure that any cleanup banners (like the NPOV one now present) are removed before nominating for GA. Just thought I'd put a reminder up so the article is at least given an in-depth review. Cheers, VanTucky talk 20:58, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, we know, it's going to take a few days to get stability on that section in any case. So I think I'm going to leave the proposal until I get back from the Christmas festivities. Whilst you're here, do any other things jump out at you from the failing-GA (or FA even?) point of view? Better to get them sorted before going to review if possible, although we have to leave something obvious in there so that the reviewers have something to complain about. :-)))) FlagSteward (talk) 03:41, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Sullivan further readingEdit

Did someone get permission from the University of California Press in order to link the PDF of chapter two from Sullivan's book in the "Further reading" section? If not, it is a copyright infringement.--Chef Christopher Allen Tanner, CCC (talk) 03:55, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

It isn't a copyright violation to link to material that the publisher itself makes available online for public viewing. Hyperlinking is the whole point of the world wide web. If someone other than the publisher was hosting that page, then I agree there would be a copyright question, but not in this case. -Amatulic (talk) 20:27, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Rose v. blushEdit

I have restored the reference to White Zinfandel as "blush" wine. In California wineries, there is a distinction made between blush wines and rose; the name "blush wine" was coined in the 1980's specifically to describe this newer, sweeter style of wine. Blush wine not made in the same manner as rose, and a new term was needed so as to make that distinction clear, both to consumers and to the larger wine community. California now makes both traditional roses of grapes such as syrah, pinot noir and zinfandel, as well as continuing to make blush wines, vinified in the same manner as white wines (thus the blush color) of zinfandel. From the point of view of a Californian well versed in California wine, this is a pretty basic bit of knowledge that should not be in dispute.

Editors would be encouraged to spend some time reading up on how the two differ (of better yet, actually visit California and learn first hand!) before insisting on reverting to the erroneous term rose. The reference to European rose-making justifying the earlier revert does not apply as none of the methods cited are used to make blush wine.

Too much of this article already reads as an academic exercise rather than as an informative study of how Zinfandel is made in California, Croatia or elsewhere. Not all wine knowledge comes from books, and many books are inaccurate. California is its own wine world that does not always align directly with European practice. Overreliance of the writings of "experts" such as Oz Clarke rather than American wine experts does little to add to the strength or credibility of this piece. Likewise, editors would do well to learn some basics of the organization of California entities overseeing the wine industry rather than depending on federal statistics (such as the USDA tonnage figures) that tend to be three or more years out of date by the time they are reported to the public. (talk) 01:17, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree, White Zinfandel should be described as blush, not rosé.
I also agree that not all books are accurate. I'm particularly disturbed about citing other encyclopedias as sources. Encyclopedias by their nature should be considered secondary sources, and shouldn't be citing other secondary sources. That's another reason I take issue with the section on counties that I tagged as POV; most of the citations rely on this Encyclopedia of Grapes, and some seem incorrect. The book may have been correct at one time. I'd like to know the sources of that book's information (I don't have the book). Just because a source meets WP:V and is published as an encyclopedia doesn't mean it meets WP:RS.
The writings of all experts should be considered in light of WP:UNDUE. If you discern an overreliance on non-American experts, then by all means fix it. I suspect FlagSteward hails from the UK (correct me if I'm wrong), so understandably his prolific and constructive editing of this article will reflect sources known in his area of the world. But you are correct, California is its own wine world, and most Zinfandel is produced here, so the opinions of American experts (if they can be found) should predominate. If they can't be found, then we have to rely on the opinions of other experts. I think that's what has happened here.
From what I can determine, Robert Whitley seems notable enough to use as a reliable source. Although I disagree with him on some points (particularly his opinion of the Russian River Zins) I'm thinking of using his list of "seven exceptional zones for Zinfandel" found in this article to rewrite and reduce that list of counties currently in the article. What do you think?
As a Zinfandel afficionado residing in California, having close relatives who run a Zinfandel-producing winery, I'm well enough aware of the basics of CA entities overseeing the wine industry — and I see nothing wrong with citing USDA-reported acreage or tonnage figures. -Amatulic (talk) 22:58, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
I disagree that the "nationality" of a wine expert should have any bearing or consideration on the subject. Rather, the focus should be on the quality of the information. This is the 21st century, People (and information) do travel and a Brit has the potential to be an "expert" on California wine just as much as some like Robert Parker from Baltimore can be considered an "expert" on French wine. As for the source of Oz Clarke's California section, as someone with the book, I'll be glad to divulge that information. For California varietals, the Bibliography list....
  • Stephen Brook "The Wines of California" Faber & Faber, London 1999 ISBN 1840008067
  • Bruce Cass (Ed) "The Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America" Oxford University Press, Oxford 2000 ISBN 019860114X
  • Ian Hutton "The Zinfandel Trail" IGH Publication, Esher, Surrey, Engladnd 1998 ISBN 0953380300
  • Jancis Robinson (Ed) "The Oxford Companion to Wine" 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999 ISBN 019866236X
And then special acknowledgments for information from...
I will also note that in looking at the critical response to Oz Clarke's book, I could not find any disputes by the Wine Institute of California or ZAP about any inaccuracy in Clarke's description of Zinfandel. Another note, while "encyclopedia" is in the title, the book is not actually classified as an encyclopedia in the sense of Britannica. It is just a wine book and is very similar to Jancis Robinson's Vines & Wines or MacNeil's Wine Bible. AgneCheese/Wine 23:12, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Good point about nationality of wine experts. I have to wonder though: Parker is an American who focuses on French wine, but what European wine experts focus on American wines? Perhaps the anonymous editor may suspect overseas experts of regional bias (which has certainly been the case for French experts prior to blind-tasting contests). Surely there must be some American critics notable enough to cite, and if one editor noticed an imbalance, then others will too. So I suggested including comments from Robert Whitley above; would you find that acceptable?
If this article cites passages from a book that are attributed to other sources, then my comment about avoiding citing encyclopedias is still valid. Not having the book, however, I can't tell. If my distress is unfounded at seeing something cited with "encyclopedia" in the title, then I'll trust your judgment on that. -Amatulic (talk) 23:59, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Looking at the Whitley source, I would personally find it to be a reliable source and have no objection. I would welcome a merge of data from available reliable sources in order to best represent the topic. To clarify with the above, the other sources are listed in the Bibliography and are note "cited" like they would be here or in Britannica. It is presented much the same way any serious academic book would use of a bibliography. AgneCheese/Wine 00:13, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Question - Do we have a source for an "official" or "exclusive" use of blush for White Zin? To the best of my knowledge, the two terms are used interchangeably. I know historically the English use blush to differentiate a "paler" rose from a dark one with no regards to sweetness. Colloquially it seems that blush is used more for plonk while rose is more "serious wines" but that always struck me more as a marketing gimmick like Fume blanc/Sauvignon blanc rather than anything official. AgneCheese/Wine 00:17, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

California makes a clear distinction between blush (sweeter finish, fermentation entirely off the skins) and rose. There must be something authoritative in writing; it's been common usage since the early '80s. There's a winemaker in my immediate family who's checkingo on a current source. Interesting points regarding sources to be considered. I did notice on second review many are also dated. Perhaps that's the academic in me, but dated sources trouble for the same reason the USDA data do. (talk) 01:12, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Agne! You're calling White Zinfandel a "serious" wine? Say it ain't so! :)
Blush appears to be a California producer's term for sweet pink fruity wines, whereas rosé is more dry and crisp.
Well, there's this, which doesn't help much in the context of California, but I note that wine listings for California wines often use both words together[1] (blush and rose, blush and/or rose, etc.) implying there is a distinction in California. And one even calls it "blush rose"![2]
Wine columnist Jeff Richards says that blush wine is made by adding a bit of red wine to white wine, while rosé comes from red wine grapes with the skin, pips, and stems removed. However, he says that Sutter Home's White Zinfandel came into being using the French Siagnée technique of making rosé wine. I haven't seen anyone else define "blush" his way, though.
None of this, of course, describes any official definition the state of California might have.
Corkscrew published this informative article on the distinction, saying "Blush wines usually have a demi-sec taste and are generally characterized by a slight effervescence." It's the most objective source I have found so far. This less authoritative site confirms that "Unlike Rosé, which can be dry, blush wines are always slightly sweet, low alcohol, and fruity" — which describes White Zinfandel.
The California Wine Institute implies a distinction,[3] referring to White Zinfandel, White Grenache, and White Merlot as "blush" while saying "the other wines in the pink genre are the bone-dry rosés and blanc de noirs." This implies a difference (the distinction being that blush is sweeter) but isn't explicit about it.
The New York Times says "blush" is a California term.[4]
On the balance, given the sources I can find, this article should refer to White Zin as blush rather than rosé. -Amatulic (talk) 01:16, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem with using the term blush for describing White Zinfandel, though I would like to see the term wikilinked to the Rosé page. As far as I know, the common use of the term blush in some American wines is mostly a marketing decision to try and make them less intimidating than they would if using a French sounding term. There's really no difference in how they're made - outside of sparkling wines it's now really rare to mix whites and reds to get a rosé. Blushes being sweeter is really just a convention (well at least in Washington), you can call a dry wine a blush if you'd like. It doesn't happen often (I can only think on one off the top of my head) because people who like dry wines will stay away from it thinking that it's sweet, and those that prefer sweeter wines won't like the fact that it isn't. - The Bethling(Talk) 01:46, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

I can't agree that the term blush is a marketing ploy, although that does seem to be an urban myth that sprung up when the "ladies who lunch" of the mid-80's abandoned cocktails in favor of white wine, however dreadful. But blush is generally much paler, and with a sweeter finish, although there were some attempts to make drier ones as the taste for sweeter wines (including rieslings and gewurtz) faded and palates grew more sophisticated. The lack of agreement among the so-called experts (again, the academic in me coming out) is troubling, but there's little disagreement in the tasting rooms of California as to the distinction, particularly now rose is being made in significant quantities again, and blush is relegated to the bulk wineries around Fresno. And therein lies the rub: I'm a child of the wine industry, and I didn't learn it all from books. So much of what I know comes from hanging out in tasting rooms in the Napa Valley beginning when I was barely old enough to drink, and it was all far more informal and far less touristed than it is now. I'd bet 2/3 of what I know about Zinfandel I learned from talking with Mike Grgich when he was in the tasting room every day. So how do you reference that? You can't. So my preference (operative term) is to trust the sources closest to the wineries themselves, not Oz Clarke or the New York Times. (talk) 01:55, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

I can't comment on the origins of the term, since I wasn't involved at all in wine at that point in time. Not being in California, I can't comment for winemakers there, but at least in Washington State, the choice of terms is a mostly marketing choice. All blushes are rosés. Whether you label a rosé is a blush up to the producer. It's similar in a lot of ways to Syrah/Shiraz. I make a Shiraz. I choose to call it that instead of Syrah because I want to let people know that it's more Australian style wine than French. I call my the pink wine I make a rosé because it's dry even though it's pale. If I made a sweet version of it I'd call it a blush. I could swap names around, but I don't because of marketing reasons. I choose the names because they can give some insight into the wines style, but they don't guarantee it. I'm okay with blush being used because, if you're familiar with the common use of the term, you'll known that the wine is typically paler color/sweeter. I'd like to see it wiki-linked because "blush" isn't used that often outside of California, and not everyone may be as familiar with the term as the page's editors. ---The Bethling(Talk) 02:28, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
It is wikilinked, since yesterday. In fact, blush wine has redirected to Rosé since 2004. And to (when will you get an account?) I have the same problem you do, in that much of my knowledge comes from personal experience and talking to people in the industry. Keep in mind that the "verifiability" and "reliable sources" pillars can still be met by sources that aren't written down, as long as others have the same ability to verify that you do. -Amatulic (talk) 18:53, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
It wasn't when I took a look at it earlier yesterday :) I'm fine with it as it stands. -- The Bethling(Talk) 19:40, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

I have an account, but am away from home and can't remember my (beep!) password. I'll come back and re-sign everything when I get back to my own computer. Interesting point about sources not written down. They do, of course, inform the way we shape what's written as well as the written sources we select as well. I do think the group has made a good choice in retaining the term blush for White Zin, considering how closely associated the two are in California. What troubles me about the article is it does not draw an important line between the fine-wine industry in California, which makes high quality Zinfandel and has now begun following Rosenblum's making of Old Vine Zinfandels, and the hideous bulk-wine industry along Hwy 99 (i.e. Franzia) which foists most of the White Zin on a different stratum of the market. They really represent two distinctly different winemaking entities targeting two largely separate markets. (talk) 21:01, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

I think the above discussion pretty well exemplifies what a vague term 'blush' is - there seems to be some agreement that it is a semi-sweet style made in California, and that blush wines are a type of rosé but not all rosés are blush wines, but that's about as far as it goes. Saignée wines are widely sold under the rosé label elsewhere, and it seems that there's no clear distinction even within California as to whether blush wines are made by the saignée method, blending, or whatever. But aside from the winemaking argument, there's a wider Wikipedia argument to be made. Under WP:LEAD "It is even more important (in the lead paragraphs) than for the rest of the article that the text be accessible". Rosé is well-defined word that is used internationally (and is understood even by non-English speakers), blush is an ill-defined word used in California, or at most North America. For instance Mateus Rosé is a very similar style to White Zin, also made by the saignée method but predating White Zin by some decades and more internationally available. Feel free to talk about blush within the Winemaking section, but I feel strongly that for the lead paragraphs, we should use the better-defined, more accessible word "rosé".
As an aside, it was only quite recently that Italian acreage of Primitivo declined below the Zin acreage in California, so I'd be a bit careful about insisting on an overly California-centric view of the grape - one of my intentions in rewriting the article was to provide more of a global view as the previous article had real systemic bias problems. FlagSteward (talk) 12:31, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Two points:
  • The WP:LEAD must reflect article content, not the other way around, so any problems in the lead need to be fixed based on changing the article first, and then bringing the lead into harmony with that content, which may or may not be an easy matter. In this case it may be simple.
  • I basically agree with you. Rosé is much more accessible. Unless there really is a significant difference worth fighting for (and it must be documented using V & RS), then using the term rosé would be best. That doesn't prevent short mention (documented with a V & RS) in the body of the article, that "blush" is a term often used in California (and it is) for what in other parts of the world would be termed "rosé". If there is a significant difference worth fighting for, then writing a well-documented article or stub would help to solve the problem, and we could wikilink to it.
So just use rosé in the lead and both terms in the body. IMHO. -- Fyslee / talk 18:35, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I have made an edit to the lead in an attempt to partially resolve this problem. -- Fyslee / talk 19:18, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm fine with your change. The rosé article might benefit from an explanation of the distinction between rosé and blush. It would also benefit from cleaning up; I just noticed it describes White Zin as "punchy". WTF? -Amatulic (talk) 20:09, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm the wrong person to do it (yes I am in the UK), but I've made a start on a blush section in the Rosé article. Since the first blush wine wasn't even a Zin but a Cabernet (I've learnt something today), I'd suggest that we try and keep all the rosé/blush debates over in that article rather than here. As an aside, the other day I counted half a dozen pink US wines in my local supermarket, and every single one was labelled as Rosé, even though I'd guess at least half of them were not dry. As a further aside, I'd not looked closely at the inexpensive rosé shelves for a long time, it's amazing what rosé is being made from these days, there was even an Aussie Cabernet/Petit Verdot pink.... FlagSteward (talk) 19:56, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Source question regarding "blush"Edit

Would this be acceptable? -- Fyslee / talk 19:01, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I think that article confuses the issue even more, and I can't see evidence that the author is any kind of authority on the subject. I also cited a source above saying that blush is merely a blend of white and red wines. Other more authoritative sources such as the California Wine Institute implied a distinction, saying blush and rosé are synonymous although blush has more sweetness. -Amatulic (talk) 20:14, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
It's always good to find better sources, so anything better is always welcome. -- Fyslee / talk 04:16, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Nothing personal, but that comes across as the very worst sort of web source, superficially authoritative but in fact the author appears to have less knowledge of the subject than many of the contributors here, and covers up that lack of knowledge with vagueness or by directly contradicting some of the high-quality sources in the article we have here.
I think the trouble is that blush is one of those terms that gets thrown around in a very vague fashion, meaning different things to different people. If you read Jerry Mead's version of how blush was 'invented', it is clear that it was solely a reference to colour, (and that is how eg Jancis Robinson talks about it in the Oxford Companion to Wine), whereas the dicussions above seem to lean more towards it as an indication of sweetness rather than colour. When you've got such a slippery concept, any attempt to nail it down is bound to end in circles - from a Wikipedia point of view I say we just go with the well-defined term rosé and leave the blush discussion to the appropriate section of the rosé article. FlagSteward (talk) 19:56, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Wine distribution (USA) POV and accuracyEdit

In re-reading this now-vastly-improved article, it occurred to me that there's little value in using a non-neutral source for listing the counties "known for" producing Zinfandel, as well as the subjective wine-snob descriptions of the wine characteristics (which I'm guilty of adding myself in the case of Amador, being most familiar with that area).

According to the USDA, Alameda county (for example) has only 114 acres of Zinfandel. That's less than two standard 80-acre plots. Santa Cruz county has only 15 acres! That's hardly enough production to justify being "known for" producing Zinfandel, let alone deserving of a flowery description for wine that is likely to be unavailable to anyone except locals.

(Keep in mind Santa Cruz County from the USDA statistics differs from Santa Cruz Mountain AVA. Much of Santa Cruz Mountain AVA lies in Santa Clara County. This following statement in the Wikipedia article makes that mistake, in addition to incorrectly stating that Santa Cruz Mountains AVA lies in Santa Clara Valley. Also, the claim about 9 acres in Santa Cruz County are mis-quoted from the source. The 9 acres are the number of acres of Zinfandel that were planted in 2006, not the total number of acres planted to Zinfandel in Santa Cruz County - which is 15, according to the source: "Although the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA in Santa Clara Valley produces Zinfandel from just 9 acres (3.6 ha),[44] the Zinfandel from that region is known for its complexity and depth.[42]") — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jtnygard (talkcontribs) 05:59, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

If we are to list areas of California "known for" producing Zinfandel, I suggest one of the following options:

  • Limit the list to those counties that have planted at least, say, 800 acres.
  • List the viticultural regions known for producing Zinfandel (I mean really "known for", not simply producing it as a minor aside to some other varietal), and the primary producing counties within each region.
  • List the USDA-listed Zin producing counties in descending order of production, and include only the top 80% in the article.

The subjective descriptions of the wine should probably go too. I've tasted Zinfandel from many wine producers in many counties, and I can say there is far more variability in each county than the current descriptions would suggest. -Amatulic (talk) 21:41, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Few thoughts
1.) It is generally poor form to slap a tag on an article that is actively being edited (which given the traffic the last few days, this article is "active"), rather than bring up concerns on the talk page first and try to work the out details before "branding it". I respectfully ask you to reconsider your edit and remove the tag.
2.) I think it far more subjective to set an arbitrary number of acres or production value to determine if something is notable. Why 800? Why not 850? or 500? Unless a reliable source, establishes some sort of objective criteria or number, it is really not our place to make one up. So what does that leave us? To go back to the reliable sources and what they list as notable regions. If there is any subjectivity in the process, it is rightly being attributed and pointed back to the sources and their expertise-not ours.
3.) It took a long road for me to admit that there is encyclopedic value in describing the stereotypical association of a certain wine in a certain terroir. The nail in the coffin was when I realized that groups like the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Wine & Spirits Wine Educator certification actually tests on these stereotypical association which are commonly written about in wine books and magazines. It is part of describing what the wine is and distinguishes it from other wines. It like describing a baseball player's batting stance or the different styles of music and noodle soup. But I absolutely detest the thought of making Wikipedia anything close to a wineguide so what do we do? Once again, go back to the reliable sources. Of course we should try to word things as NPOV as possible but how many different ways can you describe a "juicy wine" as...well... juicy? But then again, does juicy convey any POV? Is it a negative or a positive attribute of the wine? Who knows! That is up to the individual reader to decide for themselves but if reliable sources are describing the stereotypical characteristics of this particular wine as "juicy" then we should plainly state that fact and attribute it to that reliable source. And the source is really the key, especially when it comes from a well respected wine writer and not some wine review or blog. AgneCheese/Wine 21:58, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Also, as a side, Quantity and quality don't always equate and is a poor judge of notability. Just because the jug wine producing Central Valley has more acreage of a variety planted doesn't mean it is more well known than the smaller producing Napa, Sonoma or Santa Cruz areas. The Columbia Valley AVA produces far more Viognier than Condrieu but do you want to guess which one is more noted for Viognier? AgneCheese/Wine 22:09, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Zinfandel is a wine grape, and I think that needs to kept in consideration when discussing what areas are notable for its growth. The notability of a region isn't dependent on how many acres are planted there, but the quality of the wines that are made from there. The only consideration that I ever have on the acreage of grapes in a certain area is how it affects whether I can get any :). Although I don't have problems mentioning the areas that grow a significant amount of Zin in the article, I do think it's important to include (and maybe focus on) regions that are known for the wines that they produce. These are the areas that people are going to see on the label. When it comes to general notability, it's not something that can be easily measured, and we would have to rely on reputable "experts" in the wine world to document. The Bethling(Talk) 03:32, 21 December 2007 (UTC)


Agne, thanks for your responses. Regarding (1), that particular list isn't being actively edited, and it's been bothering me for several days now, which is why I tagged it and explained my reasoning. I think the tag belongs there, so I won't remove it, but I won't revert either if someone else removes it as long as there is some effort to resolve the issues I raised.

I also agree with you about (2) in that setting an acreage cutoff is subjective; that's why I proposed other ways to resolve it.

Regarding (3), I don't object to industry-accepted descriptors, provided those terms are meaningful and not simply someone notable blowing hot air. I guess my objection boils down to a single statement:

The article shouldn't present opinions as fact, even when those opinions come from a notable or reliable source.

Flowery descriptions that result from actual tests I can accept. I can't tell if that's the case here; the descriptions seem too pat, too stereotyped, perhaps concentrating on the production of one or two wineries and not the range of flavors and styles that come from a region.

Even so, test results can't be represented properly in 1-line sound bites about each county. Napa valley, for example, is known for its Zinfandel. Talk to the winemakers in Amador county, however, and you learn that a lot of good Zinfandel coming out of Napa uses grapes from Amador or Lodi — in which case, any judgment about quality has less to do with the location of the winemaker and more to do with the actual origin of the grapes and the winemaker's own style. For the sake of argument, if all of Napa's Zinfandel came from elsewhere, would Napa still be regarded as a notable producer? Perhaps by some, but it wouldn't be a realistic assessment. So where do you draw the line?

As to your side comment about quantity vs quality, you do have a point. I'll counter it by saying that, in the past, we removed from this article a list of wineries known for producing Zinfandel, because the existence of that section attracted all manner of spam and irrelevant entries from people who wanted to promote a particular winery. (Listing wineries by sales volume wasn't practical in this case because the biggest producer makes White Zin.)

The same problems exist with a list of counties known for producing Zinfandel. So I would suggest we either: (a) delete the section, (b) revise it to list viticultural regions, or (c) revise it to list the top producers. I honestly don't know how else to cleanly avoid presenting the opinions of others as fact without polluting the list with "so and so claims..." disclaimers. In my own view, notwithstanding the quantity vs quality argument, I'll add that when a source says a county is "known for" producing Zinfandel when hard production data clearly contradicts that source, I'd hardly call the source reliable.

With that in mind, here's a compilation of the USDA statistics by county, sorted in descending order of acreage:

County 2005 total 2005 cum 2005 pct
San Joaquin 19467 19467 37.9%
Sonoma 5283 24750 48.1%
Madera 3638 28388 55.2%
Fresno 2940 31328 60.9%
San Luis Obispo 2765 34093 66.3%
Mendocino 2072 36165 70.3%
Amador 1885 38050 74.0%
Napa 1859 39909 77.6%
Kern 1844 41753 81.2%
Merced 1646 43399 84.4%
Sacramento 1623 45022 87.5%
Tulare 977 45999 89.4%
Colusa 833 46832 91.1%
Stanislaus 801 47633 92.6%
Lake 675 48308 93.9%
San Bernardino 562 48870 95.0%
Contra Costa 420 49290 95.8%
Glenn 368 49658 96.6%
Yolo 27 49937 97.1%
Monterey 253 50190 97.6%
Kings 251 50441 98.1%
El Dorado 247 50688 98.6%
County 2005 total 2005 cum 2005 pct
Alameda 114 50802 98.8%
Santa Clara 93 50895 99.0%
Solano 91 50986 99.1%
San Benito 80 51066 99.3%
Butte 68 51134 99.4%
Calaveras 63 51197 99.6%
Santa Barbara 52 51249 99.7%
Placer 49 51298 99.7%
Riverside 39 51337 99.8%
Sutter 20 51357 99.9%
Nevada 18 51375 99.9%
Mariposa 14 51389 99.9%
Trinity 10 51399 99.9%
Santa Cruz 9 51408 100.0%
Los Angeles 6 51414 100.0%
San Diego 4 51418 100.0%
Tehama 3 51421 100.0%
San Mateo 2 51423 100.0%
Siskyou 2 51425 100.0%
Humboldt 1 51426 100.0%
Tuolomne 1 51427 100.0%
Ventura 1 51428 100.0%

Some interesting observations:

  • The old cliché 80/20 rule is well represented here: the top 20% of producers (9/44) produce 80% of the Zinfandel.
  • The top 50% (22/44) produce almost 99% (nearly all) of the Zinfandel.
  • The top quartile or so contains most of the counties deemed "notable" for Zinfandel. I note that the #1 ranked county contains Lodi, the location of some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in existence.

Above is an objective, not subjective, list of Zinfandel producing counties. It avoids the problem of presenting opinions as fact. I'm not advocating we present a table, but it is valuable to present the major producers.

Also, I don't mind having a separate section of prose describing what areas of California are considered noteworthy by specific named luminaries in the wine business, but the list as it stands now isn't neutral. -Amatulic (talk) 23:44, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Section breakEdit

I appreciate the reply and I see your point but I do think it is very subjective of us to try and come up with our own criteria of what is a notable wine region. I feel very committed to just letting the reliable sources lead the way here as being the least subjective and POV oriented path we can take. I think there is a finite number of areas that a collective number of reliable wine sources would list as "notable" regions (in contrast to wineries which could be infinite). While an external link to the table to show a more comprehensive view of Zin planting is, there is a reason why those 15 acres of Santa Cruz and however many acres of Dry Creek Valley, etc consistently show up in well respected and well known reliable sources as being "known Zin producing areas". There is something unique about the wine from there that, good or bad, is of encyclopedic note to the wine drinker. I trust the expertise of these reliable sources over any subjective criteria we could come up with. The list, as it stands now, is far more neutral than anything we could create by interjecting our own POV in establishing a subjective criteria.
1.) In regards to your concerns about "The article shouldn't present opinions as fact, even when those opinions come from a notable or reliable source.", I would say that we are in a more unique situation due to the fact by sheer human nature "taste" is a personal, subjective thing. We will always encounter obstacles because there is absolutely no way that anyone can describe the taste of anything without it ultimately being classified as an opinion. The fact that chili peppers taste "hot" is, in fact, an opinion though it is a very common opinion and description used to describe the taste and physical reaction to eating chili peppers. But I doubt anyone will argue that we should remove references to "hotness" from any of our chili pepper articles because they are "opinions"? We do have an encyclopedic duty to describe the wine and describe what makes this particular wine in this particular terroir unique and different from another wine in another area. Yes there are always "exceptions" and there will always be wineries who buck the trend but exceptions are "exceptions" because they are less likely to be encountered than the norm. In order to best maintain NPOV we have to not only throughly remove ourselves and our opinions from the equation but we must also strive to throughly follow the path of our reliable sources and use the "stereotypical descriptions" and not a wine review from a newspaper or blog. The wording is always open for discussion and terms should always be as generic as possible. No one is asking that we include things like "and this wine is really yummy" but we shouldn't go to the point of labeling everything an opinion either to where we are throwing out baby with the bathwater.
2.) In regards to "I'll add that when a source says a county is "known for" producing Zinfandel when hard production data clearly contradicts that source, I'd hardly call the source reliable.", I think you are still giving more weight to "quantity" for notability (being known) rather than "quality" which is what most wine experts and enthusiasts would use more for a benchmark of "being known" for something. For years there was more Carignan and Aramon planted in France than Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, yet which grapes is France more well known for. If we use quantity then it would be the former, if we use quality then it is obviously the later. With Zinfandel, do you think wine drinkers are more aware of Zin from the jug wine producing Madera County than Paso Robles, Napa, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz? Once again, if we use quantity than obvious Madera County Zin is up there with the kings (along with Carignan and Aramon!) and any reader who happens to be a wine enthusiast should never expect to read about or see bottles of wine from those other "backwoods" wine regions or those "obscure" grapes of Merlot and Cap. Excuse me for noting that such logic is a little on the absurd side. AgneCheese/Wine 09:03, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I hope you can forgive me for pointing out that the source of your problem here appears to be a large dose of bias which is also giving undue weight to the Cali growers. Maybe that's less true on the latter point, as US producers probably do form the most notable group, but it seems there's currently too much detail relative to other countries/regions, on the characteristics of the produce of individual Californian regions. Sorting out what constitutes notability (the "known for" factor) is a big enough hill to climb for now, one that needs settling before getting into any mention of specific terroir and wineries. For this, I'd say you take, as far as is practical, the sum of RS opinion, and where this amounts to only one reliable opinion, leave it out altogether. In other words, Oz Clarke's lone opinion isn't enough; where his and A.N.Other's coincide, I'd say you have sufficient objectivity. If there's not enough written on the subject, QED: it probably does represent overkill, at least for this article. Just my 2¢. --mikaultalk 12:08, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
No need for forgiveness. It is a reasonable observation. Truth be told, I would love to see more details on notable regions of Primitivo and Crljenak Kaštelanski and have been looking for reliable sources that comment more on that. Hit a little bit of a road block with non-english sources. But I don't know how much of undue weight it is, in proportion to what the average English Wikipedian reader is going to encounter in terms of Zin/Primitivo/Crljenak Kaštelanski. As for the decision about the "known for" factor, I will point out that several sources list many of these California areas (and I could spell each one out in long, laborious details if it comes down to it). The single ref to Clarke was used in the case of simplicity since it adequatedly verified the information in one fell swoop rather than tacking on multiple footnotes to reference the same fact. AgneCheese/Wine 13:42, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I would certainly agree with you on brevity, but this same issue comes up with wine tasting: it's an area so prone to editor POV I'm inclined to be extra careful with descriptors from single sources, no matter how well-renowned. I don't think there's even a WP guideline on the issue, but theres undeniable subjectivity about these things. I remember researching Tempranillo and having to disregard masses of stuff by Penin, writer of the acknowleged Spanish wine "bible", due to the amount of POV inherent in his descriptors. Maybe a compromise (albeit far from ideal) would be some kind of qualification in the text such as "has been described as.." or "regarded as.." which begs the question, "by whom?" rather than badly stating opinion as fact. For most people (myself included!) finding out that it was Clarke's opinion would be all I needed to know, quite frankly. A fantastic series starring OC touring California with a wacky sidekick has just finished on BBC tv, btw. If you ever get the chance to see it, it's probably the best prog on wine I've ever watched :o) --mikaultalk 14:21, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
That is not a bad idea for a compromise. While the footnote does link to the source, it probably wouldn't hurt to note something like wine expert Oz Clarke (or Jancis Robinson) has said. Unfortunately there are distinguished experts like Karen MacNeil that don't have articles yet. (I suppose I could fix that :p) but it is still a nice way of presenting the credibility of the reliable source without resorting to weasel or peacock terms. I know. I've been watching the development of our Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure article and I'm jealous that I don't get BBC. I'll have to wait for it to get on Netflix or Blockbuster. AgneCheese/Wine 14:31, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
[5] Merry Christmas :o) --mikaultalk 14:47, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
LOL! Wonderful! AgneCheese/Wine 15:02, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Is the answer to splinter? Stuff like the acreages quoted above are encyclopedic, but would unbalance the article, which in any case is approaching the 32kb mark where splintering becomes a possibility. An article like Zinfandel in California would allow you to get as micro-detailed as you like, whilst keeping the main Zin article reasonably balanced and compliant with WP:CSB. I'm not saying that it's a universal solution, but would work in this case. Not that I'm trying to hurry things up cos I'd like to GA this before the end of the year. ;-/ Mind you, having seen the state Tempranillo was in to get GA, we must be going for FA with this one...... FlagSteward (talk) 14:37, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Could be. My only real concern was the WP:UNDUE thing; bias is everywhere.. and everything else is reading very well indeed. --mikaultalk 14:52, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
    • With as great of job as FlagSteward has done with this article, I say FA is certainly a possibility. In regards to Mick's comment, I'm sure there can be some tweaking but I do wonder how the weight is balanced against what the reader is going to be exposed to out in the wine world itself. As for the splinter idea, I suppose that is a possibility but I do fret at the potential of splinters for nearly every wine grape made in a different region Syrah in France/Shiraz in Australia, etc. I would prefer to find some solution and balance of weight to keep the article in tact. I think one balance issue that needs to be consider is coverage of the grape vs coverage of the wine. While the article is undoubtedly about the grape, you can't separate the issue of the wine from it. I do see some of this conflict in Amatulic's table of production yields and my concerns about quantity/quality. For an article purely focused on the grape, than such a table would be a prominent feature. But I really have to wonder of how much value or interest is there in the grape if not for the wine? From my perspective (and this is my personal approach to all wine articles I work on) the focus of the article is the wine and all the periphery details about climate/history/soil/winemaking/etc are all meant to tell the story of the wine. The details of the grape are the details of the "passenger vessel" of the journey that leads ultimately to the wine itself. Hence, the reason why the reputation of the wine (as noted by reliable sources) is of more encyclopedic note than production numbers. The region whose grapes goes into "well known wine" is more notable of region than one whose grapes go into nameless jug wine. I do think that perspective is more closely tied into what our readers are expecting as well. AgneCheese/Wine 15:02, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Another section breakEdit

We seem to have lost sight of my original dispute.


As I said earlier, I believe the list of counties should be replaced by prose describing what notable wine critics have to say about them, and attributing those opinions to those individuals rather than presenting them as fact. I also believe mention should be made of the major producing areas, either by county or by viticultural region. I strongly disagree with you that the current state of the list is "more neutral than anything we could create" because I am advocating objective, not subjective, criteria. To answer your numbered paragraphs:

  1. The hotness of chili peppers isn't an opinion at all, it's an objective measure of the level of capsaicin in peppers, expressed as a number on the scoville scale. I agree with your other point that we should present the opinions of reliable sources. I don't have an issue with that. I do have an issue with that list of counties currently presenting those opinions as fact, without attribution to the person holding those opinions. I have no problem with the article expressing them as opinions, but expressed as fact, we have Wikipedia advocating a particular point of view in violation of WP:NPOV.
  2. I am not confusing quality with quantity. I am simply saying that production and sales volume is an objective measurement, not subject to whims or opinions, and large producers are notable for being large producers regardless of the quality of their Zinfandel. As I said, I have no objection to some text describing reliable-source opinions of different counties, as long as those opinions are stated as such and attributed properly.

Bear in mind that, the existence of the current list, or opinion-laden prose I suggest, will attract spammers, as the now-deleted "list of notable wineries" section attracted them earlier. It's a problem that pervades Wikipedia. It existed in this article, and it exists now in others I edit (for example, folks often add promotional text about their university to the MBA article). Presenting opinions as opinions attributed to reliable sources will help other editors keep things in check. The list as it currently stands has no such protective qualities.

I want to underscore the point that it's worth mentioning the 20% of producers that produce 80% of the Zinfandel. This is not an arbitrary subjective line, it's a statistically valid boundary known as the pareto principle.


I don't think we need to splinter the article. I wasn't advocating inclusion of a comprehensive table like I created above; I think that would make the article unmanageable because the data would change from year to year, plus we have the WP:UNDUE thing to consider. However, the list of the top 20% producers should stay about the same. That's just 9 counties, a much more manageable list than what the article currently has. -Amatulic (talk) 19:07, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the conversation has splintered in a couple directions but this is nonetheless important territory to cover. Now back to the subject. Mick suggested something similar to the lines of including things like "Wine expert Oz Clarke has said ..." and I would have no objection to the section being edited to that effect. It is essentially just repeating what the "footnote" says since anyone that is curious about a statement can just follow the footnote to see who said it. That does pose some farther reaching concerns down the road if Flag wanted to take this article up to Feature Status because I've seen the FAC crowd view such things as "unneeded redundancy" since, again, the footnote already says what we are putting into prose. For GA, it probably won't be a road block.
1.) Chili peppers (a tad off topic, I know) but my opinion comment is actually correct. If you ever went to a Chili pepper eating contest, that concept is reinforced when you see contestant breeze through the Rocoto category saying that it is "mild" while other contestants (myself included!) are crying and gasping for air because it is too "hot". While the Capsicum factor is objective, how we describe the effects of that is PURELY opinion. Getting back to wine, we can find similar examples. Look at the sweetness of wine. We can measure the residual sugar and get an objective guide, but taking in the factors of ripeness of fruit, glycerin content, etc different tasters can perceive different levels of sweetness. You see this often in German wine, especially from the Pfalz where it may have objectively enough residual sugar to be considered dry but the wines often have a taste of being "off dry" due to the various aspects of winemaking.
2.) I think what I find most trouble about the table and focus on production is that a jug wine producing region like Madera County is considered over Santa Cruz as a "notable producer" which is mention in several well respect, very reliable wine sources like Clarke, Oxford Companion, Karen MacNeil's Wine Bible, Jancis Robinson, Sotheby, Wine Spectator etc. Despite having a large 3638 to 9 acre advantage, Madera is giving little no mention at all in any of these sources. In looking at WineSpectator, Decanter, Wine Ethusist, WineSearcher and I couldn't even find a single bottling of "Madera County Zinfandel" which goes to show that it is most used in nameless blends. While there maybe reason for a small separate section mentioning plantings, it would be a great disservice to our readers to ignore the compelling evidence of respected and reliable wine experts in discounting the 9 acres (I think the current number is actually 19 but I lost my link) of a notable Zin region like Santa Cruz. That is a large reason why I think it is more POV and more subjective to try and establish our own criteria of notable regions rather than just follow the sound and reliable sources in our articles. AgneCheese/Wine 10:16, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Just a couple of brief points: the inline mention of an opinion needn't explicitly name the source – that's what the footnote is for. However, any sentence with a subjective descriptor in it should contain a phrase like "has been described[1] as" or whatever, to avoid the factual statement thing. Second, I would strongly oppose any attempt to reduce our wine articles to "only objective info" – or even a predominance of it. I wholly agree with Agne in that, for any descriptive written document on the subject of wine, regions are notable by reputation, not volume of production or acreage. Wine doesn't "work" like that. Sure, we can & should be scientific about production methods, statistics and maybe even stuff like terroir, but to 99% of readers, wine is something you drink & not something you need a calculator to understand. We need to present grapes and regions from this perspective, first and foremost. --mikaultalk 14:18, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
We're making progress. Here are some bulleted responses:
  • mickaul, your first point is exactly what I'm trying to say. I strongly object to presenting opinions as fact. The opinions of respected wine sources should be presented, but as opinions. I haven't seen a featured article yet that states an opinion as a fact, then relies on a footnote to attribute the statement as someone's opinion.
    • As an analogous point, Agne, you stated a while back on this talk page that you think Ridge Zinfandel is over-oaked. If a respected wine critic described the oak as "perfectly balanced", how would you feel if an article on Ridge Winery stated, as fact, that Ridge Zinfandel has perfectly balanced oak, and simply referenced the source in a footnote? In this case, the article clearly contradicts your own knowledge, and clearly pushes the POV of someone without explaining that Ridge Zinfandel "is considered by wine critics" as being perfectly balanced. See what I mean? This article, right now, does the same thing with respect to wine-producing counties. It clearly contradicts my own knowledge and clearly pushes the POV of the cited sources without explaining that these are viewpoints.
  • I really dislike presentating different counties as a list, because lists tend to get abused by POV-pushers. It's better to write prose about how experts describe Zinfandel from different places.
  • If this article is about the grape, then production is relevant to notability. If it's about the wine, then respected wine sources are relevant to notability. I have stated before on this talk page that we're writing about the grape, not the wine. That's no longer true, we're writing about both. Therefore, information about where the grape is grown and in what quantities is relevant. The WP:UNDUE guidelines come into play here. The article seems to have more content about the grape than the wine, so shouldn't the article focus as much on grape production as on the opinions of wine experts?
  • Agne, you seem to be implying that production isn't important. Like it or not, Madera County is notable as a large producer of Zinfandel. Yes, they don't produce Zinfandel of distinction. That's a separate issue (and I'd argue that such a major producing area making substandard wine is also worthy of note).
  • I have said before that I don't want a table of statistics either; any objection to that is a red herring. I put the table in this talk page simply to illustrate a point.
  • It isn't "more" POV to employ accepted statistical tools such as the pareto principle to state that 20% of the counties (9 out of 44) produce 80% of California's Zinfandel. That's an objective fact. I fail to see the NPOV violation in stating that simple fact, and naming the counties. And I haven't yet seen a compelling argument against it. I'm not advocating replacing the POV descriptions; we should still have those, as long as it's clear those descriptions are opinions.
All I'm suggesting is to add a statement like I describe in my last bullet above, and re-write the POV list as POV prose, making clear that the purpose is to describe recognized viewpoints. I would also prefer to see the POV prose written to focus on viticultural regions, not counties, and mention the relevant counties within those regions. Those changes would alleviate my POV concerns. -Amatulic (talk) 18:01, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Section break #3Edit

I agree that we are making progress and filling up the kilobytes (of which I am soundly guilty of aiding and abetting :p). Now onto the bullets.

  • Regarding Ridge - My experience is my experience and is only an opinion. If someone added well referenced information from a respected wine expert (not some random newspaper journalist or blog) that contradicts my own experience (and I've verified that the source is represented correctly) then that is fine. I certainly wouldn't hold my palate or opinion as superior to someone that is more experienced and knowledgeable than I. It all comes back to the quality of the source.
  • Between list or prose, it is all a style issue and I have no problem with the current referenced items in the section being converted to prose. I never did. My concerns have been over the question of excluding notable and referenced regions from the list based on (what appears to me) to be a more subjective criteria.
  • The article is about both the grape and the wine but obviously the wine should be a substantial focal point because the notability of the grape rest squarely on the wine. It is frankly the reason why we are all here and the reason why our articles on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon blanc, etc gets more attention and readership than the articles on Thompson Seedless and Cardinal. I don't have a strong objection towards including a small section on vineyard production but I do think that an overemphasis of that falls into the WP:UNDUE weight category. I think our readers would be better served with having sections on Primitivo regions in Italy and Crljenak Kaštelanski regions in Croatia than in adding an additional California section based purely on production to note some of the jug wine producing regions like Madera County.
  • Along those line, I strongly disagree that production numbers establishes notability for a wine region. While regions who are already notable for their wine may see high production numbers, the cost and economics of cheap land and cheap wine also drive up production numbers too. Madera County is simply not a notable Zin producing region. No one hears about Madera County Zin because there is nothing to hear or see. Those thousands of acres produces gallons of nameless "red wine" are at most a passing note in a small production section. Giving undue weight to areas like this serve very little benefit to our readers. Rather than contend for inclusion of a region like Madera County, more focus should be spent on finding info about the more pertinent (thoughly probably much smaller) regions of Primitivo and Crljenak Kaštelanski.
  • And yes, your principle is POV because you are arbitrarily deciding that a principle like this should be used as a criteria for inclusion. It is especially POV-oriented when that principle elevates regions like Madera County over other regions that have been considered notable by a broad range of exceedingly reliable sources. Basing the criteria of inclusion on reliable sources rather than on our own arbitrary establishment of "principles" married with figures and data is, indeed, far more neutral. If a region is supported by multiple reliable sources than that is probably a notable region. If there is only one isolated source, or a weak source at that, probably not. Remember, verifiability/no OR and the use of reliable sources are part of the pillars of Wikipedia. The pareto principle is not. AgneCheese/Wine 18:47, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
"What we have here, is a failure to communicate." (famous quotation from Cool Hand Luke)
Before I address your points, let me remind everyone of WP:NPOV#Characterizing opinions of people's work and WP:NPOV#Attributing and substantiating biased statements. Those bits are my focus in this dispute.
  • I guess I failed at communicating the intent of my hypothetical question. Human beings are full of opinions. Some, like you and me, don't count for anything with respect to wine. If my opinion about a wine contradicts a notable expert's, I can accept that. I think we both agree there. If that notable expert's opinion is expressed as fact in an article, then Wikipedia is taking the position of that expert, pushing his POV, and that not only grossly violates the WP:NPOV principle, but it also insults the intelligence of the readers. Tastes in wine is a subjective thing. To have Wikipedia saying, essentially, "You, dear reader, have incorrect subjective perceptions, here's what you should think" rather than saying "Here's what experts think", is just wrong. For example, I find I don't have the same taste in wine style as Robert Parker. If Parker says XYZ is the best Bordeaux of 2005, and I disagree, I'd still have no problem if a Wikipedia article says "According to Robert Parker, XYZ is the best Bordeax of 2005." That's quite different from an article stating flatly "XYZ is the best Bordeaux of 2005[4]" with a footnote.
  • Where have I suggested excluding notable regions? Look at my past comments. I am advocating including them, in the context of accepted views of notable critics, not presented as bare assertions. I am also advocating including mention of production in the spirit of WP:UNDUE.
  • I agree that this article is about both grape and wine, and that the wine is the focal point, although the majority of the text discusses the grape.
  • Your disagreement is noted. I disagree with you. I see you agree that it's worth mentioning "as a passing note in a small production section." Then perhaps we are in agreement after all. Your arguments have convinced me that the focus shoudn't be production, but I insist that production still deserves a mention. If you're a interested in agriculture, that's the criterion of note. If you're a wine-maker, perhaps then too. If you're a wine officionado, then production quantity is irrelevant.
  • Yes, remember the pillars of Wikipedia. USDA statistics are verifiable and the USDA is a reliable source. Stating that 20% of the counties produce 80% of the Zinfandel is an objective, undisputed fact, and complies rigorously with WP:NOR (read the first section) in that it is source-based and doesn't go beyond what the source states. I don't see the logic in your assertion that such a statement violates WP:NPOV.
Perhaps I should make an attempt at rewriting that section and post it here for review. We're talking in circles now. -Amatulic (talk) 19:41, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I think that is an excellent idea and I think it will help me to better understand where you are coming from. I will hold off commenting till then. AgneCheese/Wine 19:52, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Is there any progress being made towards a resolution of this matter? We need to get rid of that tag by dealing with the matter and solving any apparent problems. -- Fyslee / talk 06:39, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I've been on vacation and haven't had a chance to work on it. I agree with the need to get rid of that tag and I will propose a change in the coming week or so. I must say also that I'm a bit distressed that what started as a simple tagging with explanation turned into a torrential dispute between me and Agne. I hope that when I propose an alternative (as a subpage) that others will edit it for content and sources. -Amatulic (talk) 18:49, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Looking forward to it. Enjoy your vacation. -- Fyslee / talk 19:15, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Please see User:Amatulic/drafts. I made passing mention of production quanitites, removed otherwise non-notable producing regions, and, most importantly rewrote everything as prose rather than list items, with opinions and subjective views stated as such, not as fact.
Please edit/revise that draft as necessary, or comment. Then we can put it in the article and remove that damn NPOV tag. ~Amatulić (talk) 02:48, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Nice job. I do like the improvement on the prose vs list format. As for the content, I can certainly live it with as an acceptable compromise. As a side note, Flag mentioned on the project talk that he will be on holiday till the 3rd or 4th so it will probably be a few days before he'll chime in. AgneCheese/Wine 03:22, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
After 3 weeks or so without seeing any objection, I have replaced the section as proposed. Maybe now the article will qualify for GA status. ~Amatulić (talk) 21:26, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Well considering the difficulties I'm encountering with Beaujolais wine because I don't have some things "cited twice" with the same footnote, one line after the other, I'm not sure anymore. :p On the surface, it seems like a sure fire pass but it is hard to be sure about anything anymore. AgneCheese/Wine 22:23, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Napa and Sonoma counties climatesEdit

This surprised me (now that the storm has passed, I'm working at localizing this article for FR):

  • "Red berry fruits like raspberry predominate in wines from cooler areas such as the Napa Valley,[4] whereas blackberry, anise and pepper notes are more common in wines made in warmer areas such as Sonoma County [...]"

I thought that by all accounts, Sonoma's climate was cooler than Napa's, especially in the summer. --Arnaudh (talk) 20:02, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

You are quite correct. The weather and summer temperatures get slightly cooler as one goes from east (Napa) to west (Sonoma), and the coastal regions are definitely cooler:
  • "Sonoma’s climate is slightly cooler than that of Napa Valley, and it varies dramatically depending on the appellation. Offshore breezes and fogs keep temperatures cool for ocean-side vineyards." [6]
That needs to be changed or eliminated. -- Fyslee / talk 06:12, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Might the cited source be incorrect? I don't have that source. Can someone look it up?
In conversations above, I made clear that I lean toward eliminating mention of regional flavors in the lead section (especially when that bit doesn't even summarize any other section of the article), but I was overrulled by consensus. If nobody objects, I would eliminate it again. ~Amatulić (talk) 22:33, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
For now, the contentious names Napa and Sonoma are still in the source text of the article, but I have commented them out. The sentence now simply says what flavors predominate in warmer areas, and in cooler areas. ~Amatulić (talk) 23:42, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

GA ReviewEdit

This review is transcluded from Talk:Zinfandel/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.
GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose):   b (MoS):  
    Use of semicolon splices seems a bit high, and there are a variety of minor issues. I see you've already asked for peer review--I expect that will be very beneficial before you take this to FA.
    Minor issues should be all cleaned up now. 3 semicolons remain in the whole article, and they are necessary. ~Amatulić (talk) 01:26, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references):   b (citations to reliable sources):   c (OR):  
    This is a showstopper for GA. There is a lot of unreferenced speculation and supposition which appear to be original research or synthesis. I've tagged several such areas.
    I have attempted to fix places I have noticed you tagged, either by finding a reference or by rewriting the text so that the reference is no longer needed. If you find more places that need work, please tag them. ~Amatulić (talk) 21:44, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects):   b (focused):  
    Why is Croatia mentioned so prominently in so many places throughout the article? I'm far from a domain expert, but the article really reads like a Croation nationalist has had a serious part in editing it. Combine and confine the Croatian references to one relevant section, please.
    Um, Croatia happens to be the origin of this grape. The discovery if its origin was fairly significant news among wine enthusiasts. I'm at a loss to figure out how all mentions of Croatia could possibly be confined to one section. That's where the grape came from. Suggestions? ~Amatulić (talk) 17:48, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
    The article recapitulates the story of the discovery more or less as it came to pass, but perhaps the story could be told more coherently in terms of current knowledge. --Una Smith (talk) 01:18, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
    There is a suggestion below that sounded sensible to me in Hisory, below. I'm also willing to admit that my impression can be incorrect, as it seems that multiple other editors agree that the emphasis is warranted. Jclemens (talk) 17:50, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
    Thanks. I started making minor edits to clean this up, but I'll hold off rearranging things cronologically until I can figure out a way that makes sense. Looking at what's written, it seems that multiple events happen in parallel, making a chronological history difficult. The history subsections do appear more or less chronologically, however.
    Use dates in the subsection titles, then explain the significant historical events. --Una Smith (talk) 01:19, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:  
    See Croatian comments, above
    Well, excluding the genetic origins section, the weight given to Croatia seems appropriate. Proportional weighting is also given to Italy and California. The entire genetic origins section focuses on Croatia, but the purpose is to describe a significant research discovery, which was was big news when it came out, so it seems appropriate to have a section about it. I can try to make it more concise if needed. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:56, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:  
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales):   b (appropriate use with suitable captions):  
  7. Overall:
    ON HOLD for a week for improvements. Jclemens (talk) 19:52, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
    Well, as of today, the week has passed, and the article has been improved continuously to address all issues that have come up. As of this writing, all issues and tags have been addressed. ~Amatulić (talk) 01:10, 13 September 2008 (UTC)


Re the GA review above, the focus on Croatia is appropriate due to the probable origin of this varietal there. However, the story is told in a rather disorganized manner. I recommend that the History section be reorganized, to make it strictly chronological. Make its subheadings temporal. This is a global encyclopedia; most readers won't know or care to learn the dates of the American Prohibition. So, say when. --Una Smith (talk) 21:50, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that sounds perfectly fine, too. Jclemens (talk) 00:02, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
It's impossible to make it "strictly" chronological because events in different regions overlap. I have been copyediting the History subsections, and added dates to the headings. I hope that's sufficient. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:51, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
That helps. --Una Smith (talk) 21:16, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Given that the Croatian and Italian names redirect here, this article still has too little information on the history of this grape in those countries. --Una Smith (talk) 21:16, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Redirect page titles shouldn't determine the weight given to article content. The weighting should reflect the sources available. The names are merely synonyms.
There simply isn't anything recorded about the history of the grape in Croatia and Italy; in either place the grape wasn't considered significant or newsworthy until the UC Davis research team discovered the genetic equivalence between Zinfandel, Primitivo, and Crljenak Kaštelanski. Even the Croatian sources focus on that research and not the history in their own country, which suggests the historical details aren't available. What is known about the history in those countries is already in the article. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:21, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
I can accept there may be little published info about Crljenak Kaštelanski (when did that name originate?), but how can that be true about Primitivo? --Una Smith (talk) 20:12, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Good jobEdit

Passing per the improvements. It's improved noticeably since I first looked at it, and the editors who've recently collaborated to improve it are to be commended. Jclemens (talk) 05:41, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm pleased with the way it turned out. ~Amatulić (talk) 18:55, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Globalize tagEdit

I find it quite odd that a user is insisting on putting a globalize tag on the Zinfandel article. The extent of the article's coverage to each wine region is directly proportional to its popularity and relevance in those regions. If you review the Zinfandel section in any wine reference book like The Oxford Companion to Wine, Jancis Robinson's Wine Course and Vines, Grapes and Wines, Evan Goldstein's Perfect Pairings and Oz Clarke's Encyclopedia of Grapes--you will see the proportion of US vs other regions in this article to be quite on par with these expert opinions and works. If anything, this article is a little more skewed towards the European varieties (as the GA reviewer himself noted above) but there is some benefit in adding context and it saves having a few extra stubs. I think the problem is that Zinfandel is a predominantly "American grape" and to an outside person, who may not be familiar with the world of wine, it may seem tilted towards the US when it is given due weight and proportion. Adding a globalize tag to this article is kinda like adding the same tag to Statue of Liberty. While its origins are outside the US, that article is distinctly US-dominated in coverage but it is due weight and proportion to its relevance to the world as a US symbol. In some ways, Zinfandel is a symbol of the American/Californian wine industry. If any editor disagrees, I would like to see specific points of Zinfandel use in other areas that are not covered and perhaps the reliable sources who comment on these sources since the expert written books above do not include anything really beyond what's already in the article. AgneCheese/Wine 18:33, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Agne. In many cases, there is more to write about grape varieties and their wines in regions/countries of origin than in their New World incarnations. However, this is the case of a variety "getting big" in the New World without first being really notable in the old. Primitivo wines were hardly known outside Southern Italy (or even Apulia) before the connection to Zinfandel was known. Tomas e (talk) 00:08, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes. It's maybe not hard to imagine that it seems US-centric without looking more deeply into it, but a WP page can't have demands placed beyond what is supported by RS, and therefore a globalize tag doesn't seem reasonable. Certainly there must *sometimes* be cases where the US view coincides with a worldwide view of the subject. I'd think when sources allow for it, the scope will widen but that doesn't appear to be the situation now. MURGH disc. 02:46, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

After the removal of the "globalize" tag, I looked at the lead and realized that it could be interpreted as US-weighted. I rephrased it a bit. Removing the minor note about how Zin started out in the U.S. as table grapes allowed the lead to appear more balanced. ~Amatulić (talk) 17:45, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Amatulic. I was viewing the tag as out of placed in context of the article as a whole but, in hindsight, I can see your point about the lead. Thanks for taking care of that. AgneCheese/Wine 00:15, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Dalmatian historyEdit

"Austria, which likely obtained the vines during the Habsburg Monarchy's rule over Croatia, after Dalmatia was absorbed when the Venetian Empire fell in 1797."

This isn't quite right. The Venetian Republic fell to France, not Austria, and in 1796, not 1797. Its territories were transferred to Austria in 1797, in exchange for the Austrian Netherlands. And more significant, much of Dalmatia had been Croatian, and therefore under Habsburg rule, for centuries before that. (talk) 22:08, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't say the Venetian Empire fell to Austria, just that it fell, but you're correct about the implication. In any case, there are two sources cited for that statement. The sources give more detail, so the sentence may not have summarized them adequately. Please feel free to rewrite the sentence in a more accurate way that doesn't contradict the cited sources. ~Amatulić (talk) 06:47, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Neither source is specific - I doubt their authors knew the difference between the borders of modern Croatia and of Habsburg-ruled Croatia. Anyway, I have made the sentence correct (I hope), though it is now a bit heavy for the context. Maproom (talk) 10:41, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Other locations */ Adding South AfricaEdit

Hi I've added South Africa to Zinfandel under Other Locations, but it looks like the way references are added has changed a lot and I am not getting it right. Any help? Regards, Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 14:12, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for that addition. I didn't see anywhere in the references you cited that there are three Zinfandel-producing estates or that one is rated as a top producer. I rephrased it a bit and changed some citations. ~Amatulić (talk) 19:32, 4 September 2011 (UTC)


"Zinfandel is a variety of red grape planted in over 10 percent of California vineyards." - first sentence in the lead - NPOV?? --IIIraute (talk) 06:46, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

I get the impression from the article that the Zinfandel grape is more highly esteemed in the US than it is in Europe. If this is true it would help to explain the presence of this NPOV statement. Maproom (talk) 07:02, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Zinfandel vs PrimitivoEdit

The article starts "Zinfandel (also known as Primitivo)", which is technically correct but misleading. In some countries - notably Italy - either name may be used, (and here in the UK what would have been Primitivo wines from Italy are often labelled Zinfandel as the latter name is better known here). But it's misleading, as the two grapes are NOT the same. It is thought that they are similar clones of Crljenak Kaštelanski, (and not of Plavac Mali as was previously suspected). But that doesn't make them identical. I think the article ought to discuss this in a detail section, and also make it clear they're not actually the same in its heading. I'm not going to make that change myself though as I don't want to add something that might look like OR, especially as I don't have an account here.

On this subject, someone might want to add this reference: (talk) 10:13, 12 October 2014 (UTC) dww (David Wright)

Are there any other reliable sources that refute the assertion that Zinfandel and Primitivo are genetically identical? Nobody denies that Primitivo and Zinfandel are clones of Crlenak Kastelanski.
It doesn't matter if you don't have an account here as long as you can make a change based on reliable sources that isn't OR.
That reference wouldn't be acceptable for two reasons: (1) it's a blog, and (2) it references this Wikipedia article. ~Amatulić (talk) 16:20, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

A New York Times Article on the originEdit

This suggests that the origin of the grape if Dalmatia, the origin of the name is from Hungary, and the reasin is a mislabeling:

Timur lenk (talk) 17:50, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

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