This past Saturday I was privileged to join a small group of Zinfandel enthusiasts at the University of California at Davis for the Heritage Vineyard Small Lot Tasting presented by ZAP. If you are not familiar with ZAP, Zinfandel Advocates and Producers, it is a non-profit organization with the mission to advance public knowledge of and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history. ZAP members get to attend a variety of events, from educational seminars to fun tastings. I got a glimpse of what it was like to be a Heritage member this past weekend and let me say the enthusiasm for Zinfandel was contagious.
The day started with a tour of the state-of-the-art UC Davis winemaking facility. The tour was followed by a unique tasting of various Zinfandel clones, moderated by Joel Peterson of Ravenswood Winery. For those who want an inside glimpse of the wine industry, this event could not be beat. The tasting was more academic than most, while the casual environment encouraged a community atmosphere and interaction. I met people from multiple industries, from cellar workers to elementary school teachers. The one thing that everyone had in common was a love for Zinfandel. Before this event, I neither loved nor hated Zinfandel, but I now have a new found respect for it. Joel Peterson wrapped-up the whole day best in his parting words to the group, “drink Zin!”
For more information on ZAP, ZAP events and how to become a member, please visit www.zinfandel.org