This coming January 31 through February 2, 2013 it will be all about Zinfandel at the 22nd Annual Zinfandel Advocates and Producers Festival in San Francisco. There will be four events during the three-day Zinfandel celebration: Epicuria, Flights, Winemaker’s Dinner and the Grand Tasting. Epicuria and the Grand Tasting events are coming back to The Concourse at 8th and Brannan, a vibrant SoMa neighborhood easily accessible by public transportation. The winery stations will spread out through different levels in the spacious venue, facilitating better interaction among winemakers and attendees in this very popular and well-attended event.
The Association of Zinfandel Advocates & Producers is a not-for-profit, member-based, educational 501(c)(3) organization. ZAP’s mission is to advance public knowledge of and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history.
Winegrowers, winemakers and wine enthusiasts combine to form the membership. The common focus is the preservation and recognition of Zinfandel as America’s heritage wine. ZAP’s membership includes approximately 250 winery-members, 4,000 advocate members and 100 associate members.
Zinfandel is considered America’s heritage wine because of its rich history; plantings of Zinfandel in California represent some of the oldest vineyard plantings in the world; adding further to Zinfandel’s critically important role in the world of fine wine. While the Zinfandel grape originated in Europe, the Zinfandel name is truly American - the earliest documented use of the name was when a Boston nursery owner advertised Zinfandel for sale in 1832. Zinfandel was introduced to California during the Gold Rush at some point between 1852 and 1857 and became widely planted because it thrived so well in the state’s climate and soil. Today, Zinfandel is the third leading wine grape variety in California, with nearly 50,000 acres planted.
There are over 40 ZAP members representing Napa Valley. With representatives such as Ballentine Vineyards, Black Stallion Winery, Chateau Montelena Winery, Cakebread Cellars, Frank Family Vineyards, Grgish Hills Estate, Peju Province Winery, Robert Biale Vineyards, Tres Sabores and V. Sattui Winery, among others you could expect great wines representing Napa Valley.
The same as last year, the ZAP Festival this year will hold four events:
- Epicuria: Food & Zin Pairing, taking place on January 31, 2013 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at The Concourse. The event will be a culinary adventure where 50 top Zinfandel wines collaborate with 50 chefs. From molecular ice cream to boar chili, it’s a gastronomical and enological fantasy come true. More details and a list of all the participants:
- Flights: Forums of Flavor, takes place on February 1, 2013 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at The Fairmont Hotel. A seated seminar-style tasting will further a detailed understanding of the uniqueness of Zinfandel. ZAP is teaming up with the Historic Vineyard Society to present wines from amazing old Zinfandel vineyards. The moderator will be Joel Peterson (Ravenswood) and speakers are Tegan Passalaqua (Turley Wine Cellars, presenting Lodi wines), Dennis Patton (Dendor-Patton, Mendocino), Bob Biale (Robert Biale Vineyards, Napa) and Morgan Twain- Peterson (Bedrock Wine Co., Sonoma).
- Winemakers’ Dinner: It will take place February 1, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at The Fairmont Hotel. The fabulous forties reign at this Casablanca- themed benefit. A reception precedes an elegant dinner where winemakers host tables and offer unusual Zinfandels chosen just for this evening. Silent and live auctions offer other ways to support the cause of America’s heritage wine, with proceeds benefitting ZAP programming, education and Heritage Vineyard Projects.
- Grand Tasting: The Grand Tasting takes place on February 2, 2013 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at The Concourse. This is the world’s largest single varietal tasting, a chance to taste more than 200 different Zinfandels. Don’t miss wineries from other renowned wine regions as Gnarly Head Cellars, LangeTwins Winery & Vineyards, Michael-David Winery, Miraflores Winery, Rancho Zabaco Winery, Ravenswood, Seghesio Family Vineyards, Terra d'Oro, The Lucas Winery and Van Ruiten Family Winery, among many others.
Something new this year; members of ZAP’s Heritage Club will be able to enjoy table side service of selected library and reserve Zinfandels in the new Heritage Club Lounge.
There will be Winemaker Workshops, conducted by Rod Byers. Seminars will be conducted by two Vintners rotating every half-hour starting at 10:30 am and continuing until 4:00 pm.
ZinKitchen Seminars will be located at the ZinKitchen on the mezzanine level, will also be taking place throughout the day. Participants include chef Tyler Stone and Winechef Tony Lawrence. Randy Caparoso will moderate a Zinfandel Terroir Tasting with top sommeliers as well.
For information on tickets and events see the ZAP Festival website.