Zinfandel wine lovers don’t need to travel around the the Napa Valley to get their fill of California’s favorite wine grape. For the past 22 years, ZAP has proudly produced the most prestigious single varietal wine event in the nation. Say goodbye to the cranky crowds and long lines and hello to an all new intimate experience. This year, Zinfandel vino lovers and wine spectators can sip and swirl in style at the all new 2014 Zinfandel Experience.
When: 2014 Zinfandel Experience occurs January 23-25
Where: at the Presidio and Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco, California
What: The annual Zinfandel Festival has been replaced by the all new Zinfandel Experience with a new format and location for tasting and experiencing America’s heritage wine. Set at both the scenic Presidio, that overlooks the San Francisco Bay, and the iconic Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, the Zinfandel Experience has been redesigned to deliver more intimate and meaningful interactions for participants and producers alike. This one-of-a-kind gathering is America’s ultimate celebration of all things Zinfandel. Zinfandel’s expression from vineyard site to vineyard site, as well as its ripening pattern, is unique to each region and location. As a result, participants can experience a wide range of red wine styles from lighter rose, to elegant and refined, to intense and complex.
Looking to pair a little Zin with your din din tonight? Check out our favorite Zinfandel Food and Wine Pairing Picks!
5 Zinfandels to Try & ZINsational Wine Pairings:
Mark Vernon, President of Ridge Vineyards and ZAP President
“The new locations provide beautiful and historic settings and the reimagined events, with their focus on tasting experiences, will offer discovery for both casual and devoted wine fans in an environment of warm camaraderie. The biggest change occurs on Saturday, where the Grand Tasting of the past has now been divided into three distinct and informative tracks in three separate buildings at the Presidio. It’s a deep-dive tasting experience with no more than 350 people in each session. No more standing in long lines or big noisy rooms. Each session gives ample opportunity to informally visit and sample with each winery. The new format offers four events over three days that highlight vineyard character, winemaking techniques and historic connections that celebrate Zinfandel’s native taste and value, all nuanced with winemaker personalities and family traditions.”
Rebecca Robinson, ZAP’s Executive Director
“After listening to producers, members and attendee feedback, we’re thrilled to elevate the long-revered Festival to a more intimate experience. We’ve also created a special venue for our Advocate members at the Inn at the Presidio, called the Heritage Club Lounge, in recognition and appreciation of their year-round support.”
The Zinfandel Experience
Thursday, January 23, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM, Epicuria Food & Zinfandel Pairings
Indulge your “inner epicurean.” Discover Zinfandel’s versatility and how well the zesty wine pairs with distinctive tastes during the Zinfandel Experience kick-off event. Sample sophisticated and whimsical culinary creations from master chefs, perfectly paired with 30 top Zinfandel wines. Immerse yourself in the Zinfandel culture as you mingle with winemakers, chefs and fellow wine lovers at this informal dine-around event at the Golden Gate Club.
LOCATION: Presidio Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop, San Francisco, CA 94129.
Friday, January 24, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Flights! Forums of Flavors
Flights features a professional tasting seminar with a focus on highly allocated, limited production Zinfandels. Learn insights from the experts and experience the range, depth and character of the wines. ZAP will once again partner with the Historic Vineyard Society to present wines from exceptional old Zinfandel vineyards.
LOCATION: Four Seasons Hotel, 757 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.
Friday, January 24, 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Evening with the Winemakers – Fabulous Forties, A Benefit with Taste
Reimagine the fabulous forties at this themed benefit with an inventive menu created by Mark Richardson, Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco. Mingle at the swanky reception with 18 top Zinfandel winemakers and owners who craft the remarkable wines presented. Then, sit down to dinner with your host and savor surprise unveilings of wines personally selected for the evening. These wines will not be poured at other Experience events. Bid on incredible packages combining wine, art, travel, culinary and interactive wine experiences. Proceeds benefit ZAP programming, education and Heritage Projects. Bring out the Fedora and polish up the wingtip shoes for an unforgettable evening.
LOCATION: Four Seasons Hotel, 757 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.
Saturday, January 25, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Zinfandel Experience Tasting Tracks
Create your own itinerary to explore and sample. Select among three distinct and informative tracks that will take you on an in-depth and intimate Zinfandel tasting experience or participate in all three. Zinfandel enthusiasts will have ample opportunity to informally visit and taste with winemakers. Between sessions, visit the gourmet food trucks and enjoy the beautiful lawns and historic sites at the Presidio. You can even take home some of your favorite wines from the new ZAP General Store. Stroll at your own pace or take a complimentary shuttle. Visitors enjoy free parking. Sessions begin at 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Tickets are limited.
LOCATION: All programs are held at The Presidio, 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129.
Sensory Tasting: A fun and interactive foray into flavor.
Visit with 80 different wineries and their winemakers and discover your own harmony of taste. Explore a range of food flavor elements and enhance your appreciation of the versatility of Zinfandel at this accessible and friendly walk-around tasting. Just as a single melody paired with another becomes a song, wine paired with food becomes a concert of taste, more than each note by itself. Uncover your own sensory composition as you sample your favorite Zins.
LOCATION: Herbst at the Presidio, 385 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129.
Reserve & Barrel Tasting: A tasting of the new and rare.
Enjoy a “sneak peek” tasting of barrel samples, new vintages and special wines from America’s top Zin-makers that have earned the title of “reserve.” This walk-around experience offers visits with winemakers and an exclusive venture into the most prized Zinfandel treasures of 44 wineries. LOCATION: Film Center at the Presidio, 39 Mesa Street #107, San Francisco, CA 94129.
Terroir Tasting: Expand your regional expertise.
Journey through the wine country at this walk-around tasting of some of the most outstanding Zinfandel growing regions in California including Napa, Lodi, Sonoma, Sierra Foothills, Paso Robles and more. Taste the characteristics that epitomize these regions and participate in workshops with acclaimed sommeliers who compare and contrast the regional features in-depth. You will come away with a true appreciation of what sets each region’s Zinfandels apart.
LOCATION: Observation Post at the Presidio, 211 Lincoln Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94129.
To learn more about the all new Zinfandel Experience and order tickets, please visit http://www.zinfandel.org/experience or call 530-274-4900.