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ZAP Enhances Zinfandel Festival Tasting in 2012

November 17, 2011

San Francisco, CA November 2011---On January 28, 2012, The Grand Zinfandel Tasting (held during the 21st Annual Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Festival in San Francisco) will take on a fresh personality with a new home—the carpeted, stylish expanse of The Concourse at 8th and Brannan—a vibrant SoMa neighborhood easily accessible by public transportation. The move to the spacious Concourse will allow winery stations to be spread out on different levels, enabling friendly, interactive conversations between winemakers and attendees.


Epicuria, ZAP’s Zinfandel and food pairing extravaganza, will also relocate to The Concourse in 2012. “The Concourse is conveniently located in downtown San Francisco, offering not only the ease of public transportation and lots of cabs, but also ample parking. The Concourse is ideally suited to the scope and purpose of this magnificent annual event,” says Rebecca Robinson, Executive Director of ZAP. “The change from the two warehouses at FortMason in past years to bringing all the Zinfandel winemakers and avid fans under one roof is wonderful,” she adds. “We all agree—the energy and quality experience will be amazing.”


Also new in 2012 are coordinated tasting—events during the days before the Festival at Beverages & More, K & L Wines, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants, Piedmont Grocery, Napa Valley Winery Exchange and The Press Club.

The 2012 Zinfandel Festival encompasses four compelling events in San Francisco from Thursday, January 26, through Saturday, January 28, 2012.

GRAND ZINFANDEL TASTING on Saturday is the largest and most enthusiastically received single varietal tasting in the world, with over 200 wineries pouring more than 600 different Zinfandels. The new venue at The Concourse allows ZAP to offer more workshops than ever before on a range of topics such as the differences in the regions where Zinfandel is grown and different approaches to Zinfandel winemaking. ZinTracks, an innovative quick-reference tasting guide, will offer lists of wines by appellation, barrel samples, old vines, price point, vintage, vineyard designates and farming practices—as well as a few fun and whimsical ‘tracks,’ such as winemakers’ pets. This allows each attendee to personalize their tasting experience and leave the Tasting having made numerous discoveries about the uniqueness of Zinfandel.

EPICURIA is the new name for the extremely popular Thursday evening Zinfandel and food pairing event, which will also take place at The Concourse. This is an intimate way to explore the magic of matching food and Zinfandel, whether it’s Swan Oyster Depot’s shrimp cocktail or lamb lollipops from Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Epicuria is a way to meet and converse with 50 Zinfandel vintners and 50 San Francisco Bay Area chefs and restaurateurs who’ve worked together to offer very specific food-wine matches. ”There is no better way to experience the wide range of Zinfandel styles and the broad scope of food that Zinfandel can be paired with in a more intimate setting,” explains Robert Biale, President, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers. Epicuria also includes The ZinKitchen, where chefs will demonstrate how to prepare their dishes and explain why it synchronizes so well with Zinfandel. The ZinKitchen chefs include Chef Mark Dommen and Sommelier Tonya Pitts from One Market Restaurant and Chef David Taylor and Sommelier Shelley Lindgren from A16.

FLIGHTS is a seminar and tasting during which a panel of Zinfandel experts will taste along with participants and explore the superior quality, terroirs and distinctive characteristics of the varietal. For 2012 Flights will take place at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco’s
Union Square

WINEMAKERS DINNER is the lively benefit auction and winemaker dinner with a Las Vegas theme. Winemakers from 28 renowned wineries pour their Zinfandels for guests during a reception followed by a live auction of one-of-a-kind Zinfandel-related items ranging from special VIP winery experiences and travel, unique Zinfandel-themed art works and rare and large format bottles. At dinner, guests are seated with the winemakers and enjoy the opportunity to converse, ask questions and interact with those responsible for making the world’s finest Zinfandels. Proceeds benefit ZAP programming, education and Heritage Projects, including UC Davis, Sonoma State University and City College of San Francisco Culinary Arts. For 2012 The Winemakers Dinner will take place at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco’s
Union Square

TICKETS and a complete schedule for all four Zinfandel Festival events are available online at Most events sell out weeks before the Festival, so you are encouraged to purchase them early.


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, according to the 2010 California Grape Acreage Report.


As The Association of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2011, ZAP looks back upon a profound legacy while anticipating a revealing future for Zinfandel. Together with historians, growers, producers, researchers and consumers, ZAP is dedicated to preserving the heritage of Zinfandel while promoting its prospects. ZAP also has funded a number of other projects, including the development of the Zinfandel Aroma Wheel, publication of Resource Guide To Zinfandel as well as other educational events and materials.


Zinfandel Advocates & Producers welcomes “Advocate” members as well as wineries! Members come from all walks of life—educators, wine trade, students, professionals, wine drinkers, wine collectors, and those who just love Zinfandel! ZAP members have unique opportunities to explore Zinfandel, meet other Zinfandel enthusiasts and discover new wineries. An annual membership is $44 (for two people) and includes numerous special and behind-the-scenes events and resources. Members have early entrance to the Grand Zinfandel Tasting at ZAP's Zinfandel Festival, plus winemaker workshops held in the exclusive Members' Lounge, as well as ticket savings for the Festival and other events, including cruises, invitations with special pricing to wine events, a seasonal eNewsletter with news articles, member stories, recipes, discounts and special offers at selected wineries and more.

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