Engaging Zinfandel’s Youth Appeal


March 2023

In a March 3rd article via Wine Searcher, Kathleen Wilcox writes about the appeal of Zinfandel wines in a market where younger consumers are looking beyond label art for purchasing decisions.

“We all know what people under 40 like: they are driven by digital, they prioritize sustainability and are more likely to purchase eco-conscious wares, they listen to their peers when making purchasing decisions and they are more likely to connect with products that have a fascinating backstory.

“Wineries are increasingly making an effort to bridge the obvious gaps between what the industry is offering and what younger wine lovers want – but certain grapes, like Zinfandel, seem to make their work easier.” –Kathleen Wilcox

Rooted in history yet approachable to today’s palate, Zinfandel is showing to be an opportunity to market fine wine to younger generations. Decades of proven responsible practices, like transparent ingredient labeling and sustainable winemaking & vineyard operations, seal the deal.

John Olney, Head Winemaker & COO, says, “We are built on a culture of transparency, and now, that’s really paying dividends.”

“We decided to put the grape varietal background in large font, right on the front of the label,” Olney says. “People love that. And we also put our ingredients – sustainably grown grapes, indigenous yeasts, naturally occurring malolactic bacteria, calcium carbonate, minimum effective SO2 – on the back label. People want to know what they’re putting in their bodies. And because the TTB [Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau] allows other wineries to put in things like mega purple and velcorin in their wines, they don’t necessarily know unless you spell it out.”

Ridge was among the first in California to found a wine club with the Advance Tasting Program. After 30 years of success, we expanded our offerings to include the Z List membership, which focuses on single-vineyard zinfandels from historic sites. By highlighting unique vineyard locations and offering in-depth educational resources, Ridge has long been a champion for this versatile grape.

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