by Fred McMillin
for May 15, 1997

What's OVOC Zinfandel?

A Clone Tome: Genes transmit hereditary characteristics. A clone is an organism that contains genes identical with those of the organism from which it is derived. If mutation occurs, one or more genes are changed, and the new organism does not have the identical genes of the parent; it is not a clone.

The Rest of the Story: Now to that OVOC Zinfandel. When the first Zin vines arrived in California 150 years ago, they were not all genetically identical, i.e., they were not a single clone. Since then, mutations have occured so there are more Zinfandel clones around now than in the past. However, Alderbrook Winemaker Bob Cabral finds that Old Vine; Old Clone (hence, OVOC)grapes make the better red wine. Consequently, he gathered fruit from six Sonoma old-vine vineyards and produced 5,000 cases of lush, raspberry-blackberry, peppery Zinfandel. Bob says he's very proud of it, and he should be.

1995 OVOC Zinfandel, Sonoma County
Alderbrook Winery
Healdsburg, CA
Contact: Catherine Bartolomei, (800)655-3838

Category: Highly Recommended for the serious Zinfandel aficionado.

Postscript: Alderbrook Chef Jim May creates dazzling regional dishes to pair with their wines. You can obtain the recipes from Catherine, and even order the principal ingredients if you wish.

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.

Read more articles by Fred McMillin in the eGGsf

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