by Fred McMillin
for March 18, 1997

The Story Vineyard Story

Prologue: "Zinfandel, beyond all argument, is the great, proven grape variety.. Of Amador County's Shenandoah Valley. Flavors can be astonishingly intense especially when the vines come from shy-bearing graybeard vineyards.. prominent among them being Story." ....from Bob Thompson's "Wine Atlas of California" "Story Zinfandels are robust, spicy, well-flavored and complex." ....from Prof. John Baxevanis' "Wine Regions of America"

The Rest of the Story: So, how would the bottle do in my last blind tasting? The label read Story Vineyards Old Vines Zinfandel, Shenandoah Valley, Amador County. It came from their 80-year-old Picnic Hill Vineyard. The vines may be shy-BEARING but the Zin was not shy TASTING. In fact, in the balloting it topped the other Zinfandels by a substantial margin. Try a bottle to see what those old vines can do for you.

1994 Old Vines Zinfandel, Shenandoah Valley, Amador County (Picnic Hill)
Story Vineyard
Plymouth, California (in the heart of historic gold country)
Phone: (209)245-6208

Category: Recommended

Postscript—The Name Game:
Story—The name of the family that founded the winery, which now is owned by Jan and Bruce Tichenor.
Founding date—1973.
Shenandoah Valley—The early settlers of the region were from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Amador County—Named after Jose Maria Amador, son of an early, wealthy landowner.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

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