Ravenswood is the “godfather” of zinfandel. It pioneered the grape in Sonoma County three decades ago and has been instrumental in its explosion in popularity. Since its founding in 1976, Ravenswood has been driven by one mission statement: “NO WIMPY WINES”.
If you are ever up in Sonoma, visit the winery. It’s set in a great location just north of the town of Sonoma. You can try the usual suspects for $10 or splurge for the $15 premium tasting. From my experience, they will give you good size pours and let you redo a taste or two. Check out tasting details here.
Ravenswood got popular with its California Zinfandel, which was tasty and cheap ($9). After this surge in popularity, they decided to do a “County” specific of series zins. I love it. Everything is held constant (winemaker, grape, year) except the county where the grapes were grown. It’s the perfect way to learn about the diverse California wine regions.
A few years ago, Ravenswood crossed the Pacific and bought some vineyards in Australia. Cool business move. While Ted and I disagree on the 2005 Shiraz review, I encourage everyone to give it a try so they can figure it out for themselves.
You can find Ravenswood wines at both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. If you go to a big enough store, there will probably be 3 or 4 different Ravenswood wines for you to try. My advice: give them all a shot. They are definitely not “wimpy”.
2005 Lodi Zinfandel Best Buy of the Week