Wine Line: New twists for zinfandel event

12/25/2013 12:00 AM

12/26/2013 10:56 AM

Zinfandel Advocates and Producers announced that its annual ZAP Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious single varietal events in the nation for the past 22 years, will shift to a new format and location.

The 2014 Zinfandel Experience takes place Jan. 23-25 at the Presidio and the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco.

This year the tasting will be divided into three distinct zinfandel tasting tracks with no more than 350 people in each session. This should eliminate long lines and big, noisy rooms, and give time for more intimate and meaningful interactions for participants and producers alike.

I’ve been a ZAP member since 1994. I am one of those 5,000 advocates (consumers) plus the more than 300 producers (members, wineries, growers), who really dig America’s heritage wine: zinfandel. In fact, each year ZAP selects a distinguished winery member to make a unique zinfandel from the Heritage Vineyard at the University of California, Davis, Oakville Research Station in Napa Valley.

The vineyard is a collection of rare and famous zinfandel cuttings grown throughout California. ZAP began producing wine from this historical vineyard in 1997. For the current 2011 Heritage Vineyard Zinfandel, produced by Scott Harvey of Scott Harvey Wines, only 120 cases were produced.

If you’re into zinfandel and want more information, you can go to experience.

Yosemite Vintners’ Holidays 2014

I know this sounds crazy, but I’ve already started my Christmas list for next year. No. 1 on the list is a return to Yosemite for the Vintners’ Holidays. It’s simple. I love wine. I love food. I love Yosemite. I love the Ahwahnee Hotel. And, oh yeah, I love the Navigator too. Hopefully she’ll see my list. I posted it on the refrigerator next to a picture of Half Dome.

The Vintners’ Holiday features your choice of lodging at the Ahwahnee or the Yosemite Lodge. Included is a Meet-the-Vintners reception, four wine-tasting seminars and a five-course gala dinner crafted to pair with each vintner’s featured wine.

Moraga Estate, Smith-Madrone, Benziger Family and Silver Oak Cellars were the wineries featured during the session we attended in November. The wine-tasting seminars are held in the spectacular Great Hall of the Ahwahnee. On the first night, a Vintner Reception is held in the beautiful solarium with an amazing selection of cheeses and passed appetizers. The next night is the five-course Vintner’s Dinner in the Grand Dining Room.

Happy holidays and cheers to 2014!

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