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Whether you believe that Zinfandel traces its origins to the Italian Primitivo or the Croatian Plavac Mali, we can still consider this America's own. With rare exceptions, the U.S. is the only growing region in the world to explore its "noble" potential. It is grown through California as one of the most widely planted varietals, and can be "white", red, rose, fortified, late harvest or even sparkling. Even as a dry red table wine, it is made in a myriad of styles and varies greatly as the growing conditions and climate changes from region to region. It is generally full-bodied and potent, with a burly, brambly quality, and can provide a veritable fruit basket of raspberries, blackberries, dark cherries and plums. It can be made claret-like and intensely powerful and structured, with high alcohol, or more refined and elegant. It always maintains a modicum of acidity, making it wonderfully adaptable to food. The finest Zinfandel appellations include the Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Howell Mountain, Alexander Valley, Amador County, Napa Valley, Paso Robles and the Central Coast.