A new reason to come to San Francisco: ZinEX 2019!
This past weekend, I jaunted up to one of my favorite cities on the planet, San Francisco, to cover the ZAP Wine Experience and it was nothing less than amazing. I guess I should start this article by saying I am a huge lover of red wine. Red Zinfandel to be exact. When I heard about the ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) Festival, I had to get involved immediately. My parents are members of this wonderful community and I wanted to tag along to see what all the fuss was about. Every year, wine connossuirs, growers, and producers descend upon the great city of San Francisco to discuss their mutual love and affection for Zinfandel. Many of these wineries are emerging more onto the market and there’s no better way to introduce them then at this event. I discovered new wineries, learned more about history of Zinfandel, and met many wine producers who have been literally studying the grape their whole life. I am fascinated by the volunteers and associates who worked hard to put on this event and learned about their appreciation for it. The whole events lasts three days and includes A Wine Flight Seminar, Winemakers Auction and Dinner and a Grand Tasting. There were a few takeaways from the event that I want to share with you:
NOT ALL ZIN’S WERE CREATED EQUAL!
Zinfandel is notorious for being known as “The Chamelion Wine” because it can be light and fruity, much like French Beaujolois, or it can be complex and ageworthy, like a Cabernet. They also use this variatal of grape to make Port. It has a high alcohol content and it is grown all throughout Northern California (Hence why SF was the perfect setting for this event).
ZINFANDEL CAME TO CALIFORNIA DURING THE GOLD RUSH IN THE 1800’S
There are many places in the world that grow Zinfandel but California stands as the best place that grows this wonderful grape. Lodi, a city in California, is particularly said to have some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in the world. A few of my new and favorite wineries that were represented from Lodi include the following: Mettler Family Vineyards, Harney Lane Vineyards, and La Grange Vineyards.
THERE IS ONLY ONE ZINFANDEL GRAPE!
Many people think that Zinfandel has both a red and white grape. Not true! This is a common misconception, and both Zinfandel and White Zinfandel come from the Zinfandel grape, the aging and production processes are simply different for the two different kinds of Zinfandel wine (specifically, the skins of the grapes are removed during fermentation when making white Zinfandel, and often, sugar is added to the finished wine).