How do you make white zin?

Answered by James Porterfield

To make white Zinfandel, the winemaking process begins by crushing the grapes, just like when making red Zinfandel. This step helps to release the from the grapes and also breaks down the skins, which contain the color and tannins that give its characteristic qualities.

After the grapes are crushed, fermentation starts with the skins still in contact with the juice. This initial contact helps to extract some color and flavor from the skins, which is why white Zinfandel has a slightly pink hue. However, unlike red Zinfandel where the skins are left in contact with the juice for a longer period of time, in white Zinfandel production, the juice is separated from the skins after just a couple of hours.

The next step in the winemaking process is to drain off the juice, also known as the “free run” juice, from the skins. This juice is then transferred to fermentation vessels, where the fermentation continues in the same way as production. During fermentation, converts the sugars in the juice into , creating the base .

The fermentation process for white Zinfandel typically takes place at cool temperatures to preserve the fruity and floral aromas. This helps to retain the fresh and vibrant characteristics that are associated with this style of wine. After fermentation is complete, the wine is usually aged for a short period of time to allow the flavors to develop further.

Once the desired flavors and aromas have been achieved, the wine is then stabilized and filtered to remove any remaining solids or impurities. This helps to ensure clarity and stability in the final product. the wine is bottled and ready to be enjoyed.

It's worth mentioning that the production of white Zinfandel has its roots in a happy accident. In the 1970s, a winemaker named Bob Trinchero was attempting to make a dry red Zinfandel wine, but an issue during fermentation resulted in a sweet and instead. This unexpected outcome turned out to be a success, and white Zinfandel gained popularity for its easy-drinking and approachable style.

In summary, to make white Zinfandel, the winemaking process begins with crushing the grapes and allowing fermentation to start with the skins on. However, after a short period of time, the juice is separated from the skins and fermentation continues in the same way as white wine. The resulting wine is typically light, fruity, and slightly pink in color.