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22nd Annual ZAP Festival Lively as Ever

New touches in 4 events explain the ongoing popularity
February 18, 2013

San Francisco, California, February 2013----Zinfandel Advocates & Producers welcomed eager throngs of people to its Festival in San Francisco recently. “It was one of the liveliest learning experiences around,” said Bob Biale (the proprietor of Robert Biale Vineyards in Napa and President, Board of Directors, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers), in describing the 22nd Annual Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Festival, which offered four events January 31 – February 2 in San Francisco. “We added new touches for all of the events; for example, for the Tasting, those included an area where you could taste Zinfandels by their terroir and a seated tasting lounge for Heritage Club members,” he added. Approximately 8,000 people experienced the Grand Tasting on February 2 and about 1,200 people came to Epicuria on January 31.

Grand Tasting attendees could taste more than 500 different Zinfandels from 204 Zinfandel wineries and attend winemaker workshops and sommelier seminars. Cooking demonstrations were offered by Winechef Tony Lawrence and Chef Tyler Stone.

Winemaker workshop presenters were Michael McCay, McCay Cellars; Chris Leamy, Terra d’Oro; Leo Martinez, Benessere; Duane Dappen, D-cubed Cellars; Kent Rosenblum, Rock Wall Wine Company; Kerry Damskey, Dutcher Crossing; Brian Maloney, DeLoach Vineyards; Bill Nachbauer, Acorn Vineyards; Nils Venge Saddleback Cellars/Cougar's Leap Winery; Steve Ledson, Ledson Winery; Will Thomas, Ridge Vineyards; Joel Peterson, Ravenswood; Mark McKenna, ANDIS Wines; Linda Neal, Mellowood Vineyards; Randle Johnson, Artezin Wines; Hoss Milone, Brutocao Cellars; Dave Dart, House of Zin; Tim Holdener, Macchia; Julie Johnson, Tres Sabores; Mike Hendry, Hendry; Carol Shelton, Carol Shelton Wines; Erik Miller Kokomo Winery; Terry Culton, Peachy Canyon and Kevin Riley, Proulx.

Randy Caparoso moderated a series of sommelier seminars: presenters were

Gillian Ballance, MS, DWS (Wine Director, Cavallo Point, Sausalito Resorts); Cassandra Brown, CS, CSW (The Chocolate Grape - Sommelier At YOUR Service, San Francisco), Catherine Fallis MS (Planet Grape); David Glancy, MS, CWE, CSS, FWS (Founder/CEO, San Francisco Wine School); Ellen Landis, CS, CSW (Owner/Sommelier, Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn, Half Moon Bay);Ronald Plunkett, CS, FWS, CWAS (Sommelier, Hakkasan, San Francisco); Paige E. Post-Bindel, CS (Sommelier, Pèppoli Restaurant, Pebble Beach Resorts); Rob Renteria (Analog Wine Company, Napa Valley) and Christopher Sawyer (Wine Director, Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar, The Lodge at Sonoma).

Epicuria: Food & Zinfandel Pairings took place on January 31 at The Concourse. The event offered an intimate way to explore the magic of matching food and Zinfandel, as brought to life by 50 restaurants, paired with 50 wineries. Attendees asked vintners and chefs in detail how they developed their very specific pairings, and the air buzzed with excitement. A complete list of the pairings, from molecular ice cream to wild boar to sashimi tacos, is here.

Epicuria also included the ZinKitchen, where Randy Caparaso moderated presentations by Peter Janiak (Executive Chef, Seghesio Family Vineyards), Chefs Justin Bruckert and A.J. Schumaker and owner Steve Ledson (Centre du Vin at The Ledson Hotel), Chef Joey Altman (Executive Chef, Rosenblum Cellars), John Kane (winemaker, Rosenblum Cellars), Marc Zimmerman (Executive Chef, Alexander’s Teak) and Maxwell Klassen (sommelier, Alexander’s Steak).

Want to make Muleheart Farm Pork Chili (from Central Market) or Braised Pork Belly Bahn Mi Sandwich (from the Ledson Hotel)? These and other Epicuria recipes are on the website.

Flights took place on February 1. In conjunction with the Historic Vineyard Society, Joel Peterson of Ravenswood moderated a panel consisting of Tegan Passalaqua, Turley Wine Cellars, presenting Lodi wines; Dennis Patton, Dendor-Patton presenting Mendocino wines; Bob Biale, Robert Biale Vineyards presenting Napa wines and Morgan Twain Peterson, Bedrock Wine Co., presenting SonomaCounty wines.

The Zinfandel Winemakers’ Dinner took place at The Fairmont Hotel on February 1: guests enjoyed a Casablanca-themed evening where a walkaround tasting precedes a live auction and sumptuous dinner. The proceeds benefit ZAP’s programming, education and heritage vineyard projects.

ZAP built a buzz for the Festival with a series of 9 videos of Zinfandel vintners sharing their excitement: The series consists of vignettes with

Katie Simpson of Chase Cellars, Bob Biale of Robert Biale Vineyards, Tim Bell of Dry Creek Vineyards, Erik Miller of Kokomo, Diane Wilson of Wilson Wineries, Morgan Twain-Peterson of Bedrock Wine Company, Matt Cline of Three Wine Company, Randle Johnson of Artezin and John Olney of Ridge Vineyards. The series was produced by Thomas Sanders.

ZAP had a large internet and viral presence because of programs with VinVillage, ToutSuite, Winemaps, KQED, AnotherWineBlog, WineBerserkers,,, KUSF, SOSH, Simple Hedonisms, SecondGlass, BacchusAndBeery,, DvineWineTime, CorkDorks,, Dr. Xeno, WineLuv and Winematch.


One highly unusual wine available to taste only at ZAP functions, such as this year’s Festival, is the wine made from The Heritage Vineyard in Oakville. This year attendees previewed the 2011 (made by Scott Harvey) at the Friday Winemakers’ Dinner; at the Saturday Grand Tasting, the 2010 (made by Diane Wilson, Wilson Family Winery) was available for purchase.


The Association of Zinfandel Advocates & Producers is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. ZAP is dedicated to advancing public knowledge and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history. For over 20 years ZAP has connected hundreds of winery producers and thousands of advocates, achieving worldwide recognition of Zinfandel as America’s Heritage Wine.


ZAP offers a 10-day Mediterranean cruise April 24 – May 4, traveling from Istanbul to Barcelona, stopping off at Dikili, Santorini, Zakynthos, Taormina, Sorrento, Civitavecchia/Rome, Livorno/Florence, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Barcelona. Details here.

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