Grape varieties in Australia can take some unusual paths. I was reminded of this by an entry in James Halliday’s The Australian Wine Compendium published in 1985. It seems that zinfandel found its way all the way down to the Coal River Valley in Tasmania in the 1980s in the Stoney Vineyard which was planted by George Park in the 70s. This same vineyard is better known today under the ownership of the esteemed Domaine A winery (to whom it was sold in the late 80s). And the ’82 zinfandel saw a pretty good review too from Mr Halliday if this extract is anything to go by:
Fast forward a few decades (James Halliday, Varietal Wines published in 2015) and zinfandel has only 104 hectares of vineyards in Australia and 87 growers. I guess while that seems quite a large area, it is a local oddity compared with the 19,857 and 12,234 hectares of zin under vine in the United States and Italy respectively. On current trends, I suspect that zin’s high alcohol tendencies will see it stay that way for some time on local shores. For those wishing to taste more or undertaking wine study, vinodiversity.com maintains a helpful current list of producers.