Friday, January 24, 2014

IN PICTURES: ZAP Trade Tasting (A Preview of Coming Attractions)

Thousands of Zinfandel fans and winemakers will gather this weekend for the annual ZAP gathering in San Francisco. Wednesday ZAP held a trade tasting in Alameda, of all places, at the funky industrial setting of the former Naval Air Station there now inhabited by Rock Wall Winery and other assorted enterprises. 

From 1-2 there was a panel of three Zin experts, moderated by Wine Spectator editor Tim Fish, followed by a large tasting with more than 100 participating wineries.

Here's the event in pictures, featuring the organic and Biodynamic growers and vintners among the crowd:

There was no cheese or snacks but one could order
takeout from a little place next to the dome and
tasting room.  Here a worker tries to explain to a customer what the fried pickles taste like.
The place has a rare vantage point with amazing views - where else can you
take  in both the Oakland cranes (that inspired their lookalikes in Star Wars)
and the cityscape from the water...
The tasting and panel discussion took place in the outdoor dome space at Rock Wall. (Did the winery bring this in for the event? Or is it a permanent fixture?)

Panelists from left to right: Tegan Passalacqua of Turley Wine Cellars, Mike Officer of Carlisle Winery, and Mark Twain-Peterson of Bedrock Wine Co. spoke with Tim Fish from Wine Spectator moderating

Carol Shelton with her Wild Thing zin from the certified organic Cox Vineyard in Mendocino

Chinese buyers on a Wine Institute sponsored visit tasting Shelton's Monga Zin

Quivira Vineyards was pouring not one but TWO Zinfandels made from certified Biodynamic® grapes...(a third of their production is Demeter-certfied and with 6,500 cases of BD wines a year, they're just behind the other big Sonoma County Biodynamic producer, Benziger, which makes 7,000 cases of Demeter certified wines).

Tres Sabores proprietor Julie Johnson served her perennially
fine Zin, made from old, head-trained vines in one of
Napa's finest locations - Rutherford - just north of Inglenook.

Turley, one of the state's most enthusiastic and esteemed
producers of Zinfandel was well represented with
sales manager Christina Turley and winemaker/vineyardist
Tegan Passalacqua pouring. Approximately 70 percent
of their wines are organically grown. All of the
estate vineyards are certified.

Ken Morris of Grgich Hills poured Grgich Hills' Zin, which not many
people know is both Biodynamically grown and Demeter certified wine,
meaning, among other things, it's made with absolutely no additives (except sulfite)
and fermented on native yeasts (as are the two Quivira Zins, too)

Ready for their closeup: Ridge's sales team appeared in full force. Ridge's Zin
vineyards are in the process of converting to organic certification.

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