New this year is the ability to purchase an early entrance admission ticket to Saturday’s Grand Tasting. Guests can beat the crowds and enter one hour early at 12:00 noon where they will be granted the exclusive opportunity to taste reserve wines not made available to the general public. The early entrance admission tickets are limited to only 500 and are expected to sell out.
Although Zinfandel can certainly be considered Lodi’s heritage grape, ZinFest offers so much more. At Saturday’s Grand Tasting, at least 200 wines from more than 40 Lodi wineries will be poured. From Iberian varietals like Albariño and Tempranillo to Rhône Valley stunners like Picpoul Blanc and Grenache, there are wines for every palate.
Serious oenophiles and anyone wanting to learn more should not miss the ZinFest Wine School which will feature a new presentation at the top of the hour starting at 1:30 p.m. Class schedule is as follows:
1:30-2:15 p.m. | Blind Tasting 101 – What to look for when evaluating wine featuring Randy Caparoso (lodiwine.com)
A great introduction to the “art” of tasting wines — and identifying and delineating the sensory qualities of different varietal types — led by 40-year wine professional and award-winning journalist, Randy Caparoso.
2:30-3:15 p.m. | Six Grapes to Know featuring Catherine Fallis, MS (Grape Goddess and author, Ten Grapes to Know)
A presentation on the six varieties every wine lover should know. Wines include:
- Pinot Gris – Anaya Family Vineyards
- Sauvignon Blanc – Oak Farm Vineyards Estate
- Viognier – Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards
- Sangiovese – Sorelle Winery
- Syrah – Fields Family Wines
- Cabernet Sauvignon – Michael David Winery
3:30-4:15 p.m. | One Grape to Know featuring Catherine Fallis, MS (Grape Goddess and author, Ten Grapes to Know)
A presentation on old vine Zinfandel. Wines include:
- Jessie’s Grove Winery Royal Tee Vineyard Zinfandel (planted 1889)
- St. Amant Winery Marian’s Vineyard Zinfandel (planted 1901)
- Tizona by Bokisch Vineyards Suess Vineyard Zinfandel (planted 1920s)
- Michael Klouda Wines 1902 Block Zinfandel (planted 1902)
- Harney Lane Winery Scottsdale Vineyard Zinfandel (planted 1900s)
- Turley Wine Cellars Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel (planted 1915)
All ZinFest attendees can increase their food and wine pairing knowledge during the ZinFest Barbecue Experience, headlined by Chef Chad Rosenthal of Food Network. Chef Rosenthal is the owner of acclaimed restaurants, such as The Lucky Well in Philadelphia, and winner of multiple barbeque competitions. Chef Rosenthal will offer tips and summer grilling favorites paired with some of Lodi’s best wines in three 45-minute demonstrations that are sure to make anyone the star of their next tailgate or backyard party.
In addition to the wine and barbecue schools, guests can enjoy gourmet food from local restaurants, live music, and unique merchandise from artisan purveyors, such as local olive oils and reclaimed wine barrel furniture.
ZinFest tickets can be purchased online at ZinFest.com or by calling the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center at 209.365.0621. Early entrance admission tickets cost $75 and are not available at the gate. General admission tickets cost $55 per person in advance and $65 the day of the event. Designated driver tickets (no wine tasting) are also available at $25 per person for early entrance and $20 in advance for general admission. Tickets include a ZinFest wine glass, wine tasting, and participation in all seminars and entertainment. All attendees must be 21 years of age or older, including designated drivers.
The ZinFest Wine Festival is the pride of the Lodi Appellation’s winegrowers and vintners and is California’s premier wine festival. On an annual basis, the festival contributes more than $10,000 in support of local service groups and schools as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic impact to the local community. This would not be possible without the generous support of the festival’s sponsors. This year’s sponsors include, among others:
- Vintner’s Grille Presenting Sponsor: Vintage Crop Insurance Agency, Inc.
- Ancient Vine: American AgCredit, Made in the Shade Tent Rentals, Vino Farms, LLC
- ZinFest Music Lounge: Rescue Dog Wines
- Heritage Vine: American Medical Response, Cottage Bakery, DSW Ag, Inc., Farmers & Merchants Bank, Irrigation Design & Construction, Inc., Lodi District Grape Growers Association, Watermark Labels
About Lodi Wine Country
Located 40 miles south of Sacramento and 90 miles east of San Francisco, the Lodi wine region benefits from a classic Mediterranean climate of warm days and cool evenings. A historic winegrowing region since the 1850s, Lodi cultivates more than 100 diverse winegrape varieties. From Iberian varietals like Tempranillo and Albariño to classic Rhône varietals such as Grenache and Cinsault, Lodi offers wines for even the most discerning palate.
The region also serves as home to 85 boutique wineries specializing in small-lot, handmade wines that have garnered major awards at domestic and international wine competitions. In 2015, Lodi was awarded the prestigious Wine Star Award for “Wine Region of the Year” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The recent increase in critic and consumer attention paid to Lodi-designate wines has fueled an astronomical growth in demand for Lodi wines, as well as tourism to the wine region.
Lodi is a leader when it comes to sustainable viticulture. Created in 2005, LODI RULES™ is California’s first 3rd-party-certified sustainable winegrowing program and has received significant recognition over the years, having been awarded the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) in 2006 and again in 2014. For more information about the Lodi wine region, visit lodiwine.com and lodigrowers.com.