The Rise of Italian Red Grapes in Columbia Gorge Wineries

Italian red grapes have found a new home in the Columbia Gorge region, thriving in its hot and arid climate. One winery that has fully embraced these varietals is Cathedral Ridge, with Zinfandel being a particular focus for the Bell family. Their team dedicates around 800 cases of expert craftsmanship to this variety.

Moody Vineyard near The Dalles has played a crucial role in the success of Italian red grapes in this region. Additionally, Sonoma-based winemaker Michael Sebastiani, a long-term consultant, has lent his expertise to the winemaking process, resulting in a Zinfandel that resembles the California style.

This well-crafted Zinfandel exhibits a youthful nose with delightful notes of strawberry candy, cherry pipe tobacco, and cedar. On the palate, there is early sweetness reminiscent of strawberry candy, accompanied by ripe plum and pleasing oak spice that envelop the taste buds. The soft tannins are harmonized by the blackcurrant acidity, creating a balanced and remarkably long finish.

Despite the cooler weather during the 2019 vintage compared to previous years, this Zinfandel surprised judges with its characteristic flavors. One judge even noted that they would not have guessed it was from the Northwest, given the vintage conditions. The wine’s well-rounded nature, combined with a hint of residual sugar, adds to its appeal, particularly in California Zinfandels.

For food pairings, this exceptional wine complements a range of dishes, such as spicy pork chops with plum chutney, a bowl of chili, a sizzling steak, or a dessert featuring bittersweet chocolate.

Earning an outstanding rating of 94 points, this limited production Zinfandel showcases the potential of Italian red grapes in the Columbia Gorge region. With an alcohol content of 14.9%, this wine is sure to impress wine enthusiasts seeking a unique and well-crafted experience.

To learn more about this exceptional Zinfandel and connect with the winery, click here.

FAQ section:

Q: What is the focus grape variety for Cathedral Ridge winery in the Columbia Gorge region?
A: The winery focuses on Zinfandel, particularly those made from Italian red grapes.

Q: Which vineyard has played a crucial role in the success of Italian red grapes in the region?
A: Moody Vineyard near The Dalles has played a crucial role in the success of Italian red grapes in the Columbia Gorge region.

Q: Who is the Sonoma-based winemaker who has provided his expertise to the winemaking process?
A: Sonoma-based winemaker Michael Sebastiani has lent his expertise to the winemaking process.

Q: Can you describe the characteristics of the Zinfandel produced by Cathedral Ridge?
A: The Zinfandel exhibits a youthful nose with notes of strawberry candy, cherry pipe tobacco, and cedar. It has early sweetness reminiscent of strawberry candy, ripe plum, and oak spice, with harmonized tannins and blackcurrant acidity, resulting in a balanced and remarkably long finish.

Q: How did the Zinfandel perform in the 2019 vintage despite cooler weather?
A: Despite the cooler weather, the Zinfandel surprised judges with its characteristic flavors. One judge noted that they would not have guessed it was from the Northwest given the vintage conditions.

Q: What are some suggested food pairings for this Zinfandel?
A: This Zinfandel complements a range of dishes such as spicy pork chops with plum chutney, chili, sizzling steak, and desserts featuring bittersweet chocolate.

Q: What rating did this limited production Zinfandel receive?
A: This limited production Zinfandel received an outstanding rating of 94 points.

Definitions:

1. Italian red grapes: Refers to grape varieties originating from Italy that are used to produce red wines. These grapes have found success in the Columbia Gorge region.

2. Varietals: Refers to specific grape varieties used to make wine, such as Zinfandel.

3. Craftsmanship: Refers to the skill and expertise involved in the winemaking process.

4. Residual sugar: Refers to the natural sugar remaining in a wine after fermentation, which can contribute to its perceived sweetness.

Suggested Related Links:
Cathedral Ridge Winery