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Lodi's Celebration of Zinfandel, ZinFest, opens May 17

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Lodi’s winemakers invite you to attend Lodi’s premier wine tasting event, ZinFest on May 17-18 to celebrate California’s heritage grape with Zinfandel lovers from around the world. Visitors can savor the bounty of this California appellation with its wide array of varietals from Albarino to Zinfandel. The highlight of the weekend is the Wine Festival on Saturday, May 17 at Lodi Lake where over 50 wineries are showcasing 250 wines (Zins and more) and providing wine novices and wine aficionados with a wine they are sure to enjoy. Lodi has a very wide variety of varietals, a greater range than most wine regions. Tickets for the Wine Festival are $55 and the hours are Noon to 5 p.m.

While tasting this great collection of wines, local restaurants and caterers will be serving regional cuisine chosen to pair with the local wines. The ZinFest Cooking School is open to all guests and will be presenting cooking demonstrations hourly. Classes will each feature a specific winery, partnering winemaker with chef for an engaging tasting and educational experience.

The ZinFest Wine School will feature local wine experts and guest speakers engaging in such discussions as “Blending your own Zinfandel” to selecting what cheeses pairs perfectly with Lodi wines. Classes are offered hourly.

And what can you do between classes and food and wine tasting? Well, talented entertainers will be providing a variety of live bands at the stage along the Mokelumne River, plus strolling entertainers and the ZinFest Piano Bar will be there for your enjoyment! Local artists will also be there to show off their wares.

There will be an “Up in Smoke! BBQ Demo” taking place throughout the day and you have the chance to pick up some BBQ pointers from Keith Breedlove, Executive Chef at French 25 in Stockton.

Also check out the Barrel Building Demo during the day and see what master craftsmanship goes into making these wine barrels.

Sunday, May 20 features Winery Open Houses, your chance to tour the wineries of Lodi as they open their doors for wine tasting, barrel samples, and vineyard tours. For a list of wineries participating in the Open Houses check out the ZinFest website.

The Lodi Lake site is at 1101-1301 W. Turner Road in Lodi.

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